Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2012 Legislative Session: How do you measure success?

In an article titled "Key leaders in the four-month 2012 Legislative Session," the Clarion Ledger listed notable Republicans and Democrats and their 2012 accomplishments.  It's a telling piece that provides some insight into the differences between the agendas of the state's largest parties and how these parties measure "success."  Here are some highlights:

  • Gov. Phil Bryant: "revising workers' compensation law to protect employers"
  • Speaker Philip Gunn: "Supported passage of conservative legislative priorities, like the Sunshine Act to limit the [A]ttorney [G]eneral's power in hiring outside counsel, led House to pass illegal immigration enforcement bill and several anti-abortion measures"
  • Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Braxton): "Championed anti-abortion legislation, such as the [new] law requiring abortion physicians obtain hospital admitting privileges, passed bills enforcing illegal immigration and outlawing abortion where a fetal heartbeat is detectable"
  • Bobby Moak (D-Bogue Chitto): "Worked to unite House Democrats in opposition to" charter school bill and workers' compensation bill.
  • Rep. Steve Holland (D-Plantersville): "Worked to restore level funding for Medicaid and public health, including securing $2.5 million for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS federal matching dollars"
  • Rep. Cecil Brown (D-Jackson): "Worked to restore level funding for public education and successfully proposed removing immigration provision requiring schools to check status of students"
If we were to extrapolate party platform planks based on the 2012 session, it might go something like this: 

Workers' compensation
  • Republicans support a workers' compensation program that protects employers by limiting payments to injured Mississippi workers. 
  • Democrats support a workers' compensation program that pays injured Mississippi workers fairly.
Attorney General
  • Republicans disagree with the constitutional provisions outlining the office of the attorney general and believe that this officer should be more restricted than any other statewide office and only act where all agencies and the legislature agree 
  • Democrats agree with the constitution and believe it is important for Mississippi to have a chief lawyer
Illegal immigration
  • Republicans do not believe that there can be too many laws referencing illegal immigration
  • Democrats passed a law that placed restrictions on employers who create an incentive to break the law and do not support unfunded mandates that create unwarranted problems for law enforcement and municipalities in the name of fighting illegal immigration
  • At the beginning of the session, Republicans, through Governor Bryant's budget recommendation, proposed $70 million cuts to public education and significant cuts to public health.
  • Democrats offered an alternative budget that provided level funding for education and public health and were largely successful in making these changes during the budgeting process. 


pinebelt said...

Just wondering when the bill to make all pregnant women go to a ob/gyn. Thankfully in alot of rural counties we have general practitioners delivering babies and providing prenatel care. Since the bill passed was to protect womens health this appears to be the next step. Can't believe that those women who got to term are any less important than those that seek abortions.

ane savage said...

i agree with your premiss PBlt, but to put it as "to make all women go" is not a great lobbying tool. we do need to use your thought as a talking point though. it is a very smart soundbite and its also true