|February 22, 2013||Some thoughts on 13 Amendment oversight||no comments|
|February 16, 2013||Gunn not afraid to exercise power||no comments|
|January 25, 2013||What the governor did not talk about||no comments|
|January 07, 2013||Late session start makes holiday more enjoyable||no comments|
JACKSON -- Eric Clark, former secretary of state, somehow had missed the mini national controversy caused by the fact that Mississippi just recently ratified the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning slavery.
As everyone knows by now, the Legislature finally got around to approving a resolution ratifying the 13th Amendment in 1995, but that resolution never was filed with the proper federal authorities.
That oversight apparently was made by the office of former Secretary of State Dick Molpus. Current Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann filed the paperwork recently when the oversight was brought to his attention.
Clark followed Molpus as secretary of state in 1996 and served two terms, and voted for the ratification prior to that as a member of the state House in 1995.
Clark, a historian and current executive director of the state Community College Board, said in hindsight he was surprised that Mississippi had not ratified the 13th Amendment as a condition of re-entering the Union after the Civil War.
And on another point for someone to think Molpus or someone in his office purposefully did not filed the resolution has little knowledge of Mississippi politics. Molpus has probably done more in terms of racial reconciliation than any Mississippi politician other than former Gov. Williiam Winter. Molpus did those things knowing at the time they put his political career in peril.
For those efforts he should be praised instead of lambasted because of an honest oversight by his office.
JACKSON -- Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, is proving that as speaker of the Mississippi House he is not afraid to exercise the power of his office to the fullest.
Late last year he removed Linda Whittington, D-Schlater, from Education to place a pro charter school legislator the key Committee.
And then last week he sent a Medicaid re-authorization bill to the Rules Committee to ensure its death to block the full House from having an opportunity to vote on the expansion of Medicaid. In the past, the measure would have gone to the Medicaid or Public Health committees.
Those two actions are perfectly within the speaker's power, but such power has seldom if ever been exercised by a speaker in recent memory.
JACKSON -- Hard to know if it has any significant for the 2013 legislative session, but it was of interest that there was no mention of immigration during Gov. Phil Bryant's State of the State speech.
In the past, the Republican governor has been an outspoken advocate of passing legislation giving local law enforcement more authority to check for undocumented immigrants,
But during his recent State of State that was not mentioned.
The governor, an outspoken opponent of abortion, also said nothing about that topic even though he spoke on the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision.
In addition, the issue of guns was not mentioned even though he previously had urged legislators to pass laws to oppose any restrictions that might be placed on gun ownership by the federal government.
The governor, for the most part, focused on education and economic development during the speech.
JACKSON -- The Legislature's Jan. 8 opening on Tuesday is the latest the session can begin.
Under the Mississippi Constitution the session begins the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January. The earliest the session can begin is on Jan. 2 when Monday is New Year's day.
I like the late opening.
First of all it makes it easier to celebrate the holidays. When the session begins early in January, it conflicts with the holidays and forces the early removal of Christmas decorations, which is basically an all day endeavor in the Harrison household where my wife essentially insists on decorating every nook and cranny for the holidays.
But with the late start of the session, we left the Christmas decorations up until this past weekend. During Christmas my wife replaces our regular glasses with 12 Days of Christmas glasses. This means I can get one glass, which is easily identified, and use it for days at a time.
I like that, and I like Christmas decorations.
I wish the Constitution was changed so that the session began on the 8th each year.
For the holidays, it is the right thing to do.