STEVE HOLLAND: State needs new bonds for growth

By Steve Holland

I continue to lament the reality that the leadership of the 2012 Legislature failed to allow a compromise on issuing bonds for the myriad of critical needs our state has.
Almost without exception in the last 29 years that I have been privileged to serve in the Mississippi Legislature, we have fulfilled what I consider to be a valid annual responsibility in budgeting – that of issuing bonds to build and repair buildings on our university and community college campuses, provide economic incentives for prospective industries and grow existing businesses, provide fire trucks for fire fighting and prevention for volunteer departments, build bridges in rural counties over our creeks and waterways, enhance the growth and development of our small municipalities, build cultural tourism – and the list goes on.
The state is no different than we as individuals and families are in this category. We rely on long-term credit to purchase our homes, buy the necessities of our families and promote the well-being of our quality of life.
Never in the history of lending have interest rates been lower and never has there been a better time to get on with needed growth and development of our state’s infrastructure. The needs are inarguable. And you will pay as citizens one way or another.
A classic example is the ever increasing burden on middle class Mississippians with tuition increases at our institutions of higher learning. Why, even buckets were strategically placed throughout your Capitol building in Jackson to catch the rain from its leaking roof this year.
Approximately $240 million in bonded indebtedness was retired in fiscal 2012 – a significant figure.
We could renew at this amount and make a tremendous stride in meeting so many of our state’s critical needs. Call Gov. Phil Bryant at (601) 359-3100, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves at (601) 359-3200, Speaker Phillip Gunn at (601) 359-3300 and your local senator or representative and tell them you want what’s best for Mississippi.
You want real leadership, not campaign rhetoric, in securing a more stable and inviting quality of life for all Mississippians. Tell them to get on with the needed business on hand immediately.

Steve Holland, Plantersville, represents House District 16 in the Mississippi Legislature. Contact him at Post Office Box 2, Plantersville, MS 38862 or at sholland@house.ms.gov.