Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not much fun

My time in the Mississippi Legislature was a great time to serve. So many things happened during my tenure that were historic and challenging. However, I do remember when it was not that fun. That was when the state did not have much revenue to work with.

This year is that year. When visiting the Capitol yesterday, you could sense that feeling of slight dread and exasperation, knowing that revenues are tight and decisions have to be made about what programs to cut and keep. Everything is on the table and nothing is sacred.

Do we close state parks? Do we close successful pilot programs? Do we cut funding for schools? Highways? Medicaid? Never a fun time. But it is what you signed up for when you run for office. It is alright when decisions are easy to make, but this is what makes or breaks many in public service.

I am hoping that my former colleagues can look at the bright side and understand that we are still financially solvent in Mississippi. Tough decisions have to be made, but they can made without rancor or divisive discourse. I do not envy them, but I respect them and I have the full faith that they will make the right decisions.

I will be watching with interest and wish them the best in this tough legislative session.