JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -The leaders you elected to be your voice in statewide offices are preparing for the start of their four year terms.
Delbert Hosemann is putting in the work before he’s sworn in. He’s been meeting with all 52 senators and prepping for committee assignments.
“I’ve got an agenda for transportation," said Hosemann. "I’ve got an agenda for healthcare. I’ve got an agenda for education, public health, Medicaid.”
He’s also been meeting with various groups and state agencies related to those to form the agendas.
Among the issues he’s ready to tackle is healthcare. Here’s what Hosemann said regarding the controversial question of what will happen, if anything, with Medicaid expansion:
“The appetite is for healthcare," he said. "We’ve been in consultation even as recently as the last week with Arkansas about how they expanded, Indiana, Louisiana and others on how they increased their availability of healthcare. Some of which they stepped in ditches and wished they hadn’t.”
Hosemann says he won’t rush the decision and would first look at other options to improve affordability and accessibility of healthcare.
“It’s too big a decision to be made on the fly and this won’t be solely made by me,” added Hosemann.
On the topic of teacher pay, the Southeastern average was a popular phrase used by several candidates during the campaign season. Hosmeann doesn’t have a number he’s targeting but did make this note.
“Why do we have to be average? Why can’t we be above? When we get to a point that our teachers are not making an economic decision whether to teach or not... then I’ll have gotten there,” Hosemann explained.
On the issue of a gas tax, Hosemann says he’s not in favor of a statewide gas tax, but would consider a local option tax that allows counties to vote whether they want to increase the tax that’s earmarked for specific infrastructure projects.
Hosemann will be sworn in as the next Lt. Governor on January 9th.