By Bobby Harrison
Daily Journal Jackson Bureau
JACKSON – Northeast Mississippians wanting to provide input to House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, for the 2014 legislative session need to mark Oct. 8 on their calendar.
On that day, he will hold meetings with Mississippians in Oxford, Corinth and Starkville. Those meetings will be part of his 10-stop Ideas Tour across the state.
The Tour will begin at 8 a.m. Oct. 7 in his hometown of Clinton and conclude with a 1 p.m. meeting Oct. 10 in Pascagoula.
Gunn said he decided to conduct the event this year after it was such a success last year – his first as speaker of the Mississippi House.
“The people responded,” he said recently. “They care. The advantage is that we can take the Legislature to them. Not everybody is going to drive to the Mississippi Capitol.
“Some don’t have that ability. By going to them, it gives them the opportunity to have their voices heard. That is the real advantage of the meetings.”
Gunn said last year’s stop in Tupelo was one of three on the tour where more than 100 people attended. But this year he opted to hold the event in other Northeast Mississippi towns.
In a news release, Gunn said, “Last year, we received an overwhelmingly positive response. A variety of people from all different backgrounds attended these meetings and shared some of their biggest concerns and opinions regarding core issues most Mississippians grapple with daily.
“This year, I want to focus on how we can fix those problems … Let me know how you think your elected officials should be solving the issues that matter the most to you.”
The meetings are slated to last at least one hour.
Last year much of the focus was on health care issues, such as whether to expand Medicaid as part of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and on educational issues – ranging from the need in the views of some of increased funding to other changes.
Both education – funding and other issues – and health care are expected to be major issues during the 2014 session.
TUESDAY, OCT. 8
9 a.m. – Oxford, Oxford Conference Center
1 p.m. – Corinth, City Hall
5:30 p.m. – Starkville, Hunter Henry Center, Mississippi State University