JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The runoff Senate election is only a few weeks in the rearview mirror and the statewide political campaigns will be ramping up soon. Over the past few years state leaders have slashed funding for many state agencies. Some operations needed trimming, but some like the state crime lab, should have seen increased funding rather than budget cuts. Now some politicians are proposing directing more money towards teachers and state workers, people who haven’t seen pay increases for many years
It’s great that there are funds to give teachers and other work groups pay raises. They deserve it. In fact, with proper money management that should happen every year. What’s interesting is the money available to pay for the raises for some of the largest employee groups in the state, conveniently becomes available as we head into 2019 when we have elections for our statewide offices. How convenient.
Teachers are smart and although I’m sure they will appreciate any raise in pay, they also will not be fooled by the political maneuvering. Going forward, legislators should figure out a way to fund cost of living raises annually. Not only is it the right thing to do, it will have a multiplying effect that will ultimately benefit all of us.