Legislative housekeeping items getting wrapped up - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Legislative housekeeping items getting wrapped up

Senate Chamber Senate Chamber

The Mississippi Senate chamber is starting to look back to normal as the final countdown to the session begins. It was just last month that heavy rain soaked through the walls and floors.

"As you can see, the desks are here," explained Senator Terry Burton, acting Rules committee chairman. "The chairs will be rolled in before the session starts and we'll be ready to wrap the gavel on January 6th at 12 noon as we were instructed to do by the Lieutenant Governor. So, we're looking forward to being ready."

The old Supreme Court chamber is directly below. The water also leaked down to it, but workers found a silver lining during clean-up.

"When we pulled the carpet up that was damaged and destroyed, we discovered original hard wood floors," described Burton. "Original to the building 1903."

They'll refurbish those floors at no expense to the taxpayers. It'll be part of the contractor's repair costs. But that may not be completed until a week after the session starts.

The other pre-planned interior and exterior construction won't be complete but they're hoping it won't cause any problems.

But there's another item that lawmakers will have to take care of when they get back here to the Capitol. The number three leadership position is open. Former Senate president pro-tempore Terry Brown lost his battle with cancer in September. It's the first time a pro-tem has ever died while in office.

Senator Burton admits, he's interested in being considered for the role.

"I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said I wasn't interested," said Burton. "But I haven't had a conversation with anyone about it. I haven't asked anyone for a vote or asked for the Lt. Governor's support or anything."

The Lt. Governor usually makes a recommendation and the Senate votes.

“I don't know anyone in the state – much less the Senate – that can replace Sen. Brown's quick wit, humor and storytelling or his personality and passions, and in some cases that may not all be bad,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Members of the Senate will vote on their President Pro Tem when they return in session on Jan. 6.”

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