The Mississippi Legislature ended its 2019 session Friday, approving a $1500 pay raise for public school teachers and passing laws that could help expand broadband to rural areas and protect children who are victims of human trafficking. Lawmakers also voted to ask Congress to call a national convention to consider changing the U.S. Constitution to limit federal spending, a proposal backed by tea party groups, and agreed to borrow more than $360 million to finance construction, industrial development and local projects. They include $45 million to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, $86 million to the Mississippi Development Authority for economic development and $12.5 million for a home for medically fragile children in Jackson. The state’s universities will get $85 million and community colleges will get $25 million, while state agencies will get $38.6 million. Local projects funded by borrowing total $58.4 million and the state will spend another $27 million on special projects using surplus money in last year’s state budget that was set aside for capital improvements.
Note from ClarksdaleNews: A school teacher raise up fo $5,000 a year was on the table for consideration, but our Legislature failed to meet that standard. With education casting such a widespread problem throughout the state, raising annual salaries for school teachers is part of a better education solution. There are many other solutions to be sure as well.