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Session should be about economic development

MBJ Editorial

As angry — really angry — debate continues over the “SLuRPy scandal,” concern should be focused on last week’s call by the state workers’ union to include the issue on the upcoming special session agenda. This summer legislative session, expected to cost the taxpayers of Mississippi tens of thousands of dollars, is supposed to be about economic development. We agree with Gov. Ronnie Musgrove that the state’s leaders and legislators should stay focused on this issue, and this issue alone (and we might add, not distracted by the political posturing of a pack of vocal state workers with their own self-serving agenda).

Of course, as many observers have pointed out, Musgrove, had he done the only reasonably right thing to start with, could have vetoed the onerous piece of legislation which emerged from a conference committee, was passed through the Legislature and significantly boosted the retirement benefits of Mississippi legislators after the Guv, who did say he was uncomfortable with signing the bill because he’d personally benefit from it, let it slide into law.

Smell the politics or is that the stench of Under-the-Capitol-Dome arrogance?

And perhaps had Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck paid attention to what was going on in the waning days of the 2000 legislative session, she could have prevented this debacle. Instead, she’s left clinging to a “I Didn’t Know” defense, and our legislators are set for their golden years.

So much for public service.

Issues are routinely beaten to death. This one shows no sign of dying any time soon. However, as angry as Mississippi is, the business community must not be distracted by the politics. Let’s keep this special session, and our eyes, focused on building a better and brighter future for the state through hard work, careful planning and wise investment.

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