Hospitals, Schools, Ballot Initiative Among Issues Lawmakers Plan to Tackle

January 29, 2024

Mississippi Free Press

By: Heather Harrison

Drives are getting longer for many sick Mississippians who need emergency care as hospitals close. School teachers in parts of the state continue to struggle to teach students without enough supplies and funding. And voters continue wondering when lawmakers will restore their right to put issues on the ballot.

As state lawmakers close out the first month of the 2024 legislative session, here’s a rundown of some of the issues legislators, state leaders and advocates want to address.

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Mississippi Future Caucus 

The Mississippi Future Caucus is a bipartisan group of Millennial and Gen Z lawmakers whose goals this session include improving workforce development, tackling the digital divide to increase broadband access, retaining talent and ending the sales tax on groceries.

“One (example) is investing in the local economy, both the creative economy as well as the ability for small businesses to start and thrive,” Future Caucus CEO Layla Zaidane told the Mississippi Free Press on Jan. 10 “So what does it look like for that type of local economy to be really vibrant and somewhere where a younger person or somebody starting their family would want to live?”

Layla Zaidane standing outside in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
The Mississippi Future Caucus has goals to improve workforce development, tackle the digital divide, retain talent and remove the sales tax on groceries, Future Caucus CEO Layla Zaidane, pictured, said. Photo courtesy Layla Zaidane

Rep. Jeramey Anderson and Rep. Shane Barnett are the co-chairs. The coalition is the state’s branch of the national Future Caucus, which includes over 1,800 lawmakers from across 33 states.

Zaidane said the organization’s main mission is to connect Democratic, Republican and independent lawmakers to decrease partisanship in government.

Read the full article here.

Rep. Sara Jacobs


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