Mississippi Future Caucus young lawmakers want more workers, less taxes
January 10, 2024
Grant McLaughlin | Mississippi Clarion Ledger
Published 1:44 p.m. CT Jan. 10, 2024
The Mississippi Future Caucus, a delegation of young legislators, is pushing for a reduction in certain sales taxes, more workforce development and keeping talented laborers in the state, said co-chairs, Reps. Jeramey Anderson and Shane Barnett.
Anderson and Barnett were supposed to speak Wednesday afternoon at the state capitol, but the event was canceled that morning.
In a press release issued Tuesday, Anderson, who represents Jackson County as a Democrat, said he wants to focus on creating more skilled workers to enter new positions, as well as work to provide internet access and technology to those who do not have it yet in the state.
“The Mississippi Future Caucus presents a unique opportunity where the youngest members of the legislature can come together and get to know each other on a personal level and build bipartisan coalitions for our state’s biggest problems,” Anderson said. “This legislative session, we’re excited to be working on issues impacting the next generation of Mississippians, such as workforce development and the digital divide.
Barnet, a Republican representing parts of Greene, Perry and Wayne counties, said he hopes to work on legislation that would phase out the state’s grocery sales tax, as well as ways to keep skilled laborers in Mississippi.
The state’s 7% grocery tax brought in about $424 million in tax revenue in the last fiscal year.
“I’m particularly excited to be focusing on talent retention and phasing out the sales tax placed on groceries,” he said. “Creating a better future for Mississippi requires the work of all of us, and I’m grateful to be a part of a group working to find common-ground solutions.”
The Mississippi Future Caucus is a member of a national organization that seeks to network younger lawmakers on the state and federal level. There are currently 36 Generation Z and millennial legislators in the state, making up roughly 20% of the legislative body.
Also on Wednesday, the Mississippi Senate met at 10 a.m., and while no laws were passed, Senate President Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann announced legislators would be planting a tree Thursday morning on Capitol grounds for former House Speaker Philip Gunn, who did not seek reelection in 2023.
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