Reeves called for the elimination of the state’s income taxes and promised to work on workforce development. He also stated that he would focus on training workers and said that “at the end my time as governor, we will measure our success by the wages of our employees.” FULL TEXT by Gov. FULL TEXT: Gov. Tate Reeves 2022 state-of the-state Reeves stated, “But it’s not a miracle.” Reeves said that it was not a miracle. READ MORE: Senate approves teacher raise Reeves said, “It’s my number one priority.” He called upon the state Department of Education to work with lawmakers to make sure critical race theory is not taught at Mississippi schools. Although it is not taught in Mississippi by education officials, it has become a significant political issue across the country. Reeves stated that they will not teach that race is a determining factor in your status as victim or oppressor. “No school district will teach that one race or another is inherently superior…. We will not teach that one race or another is inherently or unconsciously racist due to how they were born. Critical race theory is a university-level academic discipline that examines the effects of racism on different aspects of American society. Reeves stated that the Mississippi abortion ban case before U.S. Supreme Court is “on a path to preserving million of lives for generations to follow.” Our work will not be completed if we succeed before the Supreme Court. Pro-life is more than just being pro-life. We need to recognize and promote the fact. We must do everything we can to make Mississippi the most family-oriented in the country. If Mississippi wins in the Supreme Court, and the national right for abortion is overturned by the Supreme Court, the United States will be outside of the norm of western democracies that allow abortion. Reeves stated that the state’s coffers were overflowing. Despite many saying that this is happening in all states due to billions of dollars of federal spending, the governor credited this to conservative leadership in the state and his refusal of closing the state down during epidemic spikes. Reeves stated, “We are governing during a time of abundance.” Reeves affirmed his support for the elimination of the income tax in the state. Reeves, despite criticizing Philip Gunn, Republican House Speaker, for proposing to eliminate the income-tax but offset it with sales tax increases on Tuesday, praised the effort. Reeves thanked Speaker Gunn and Chairman (Trey), Lamar for their hard work and commitment to this ongoing effort. We will win a historic victory for the state if we can abolish the income tax. We can make Mississippi a place where money flows more freely and all Mississippians will be benefited.” Reeves stated that the state’s prisons and corrections system were in disarray when he took office. He also praised Burl Cain, the corrections commissioner, for his efforts to turn the tide. Reeves, who in 2020 fought with legislators who wanted to enact reforms and lower prison populations and vetoed their legislation, vowed to push for more reentry programs and job training for inmates as well as to combat recidivism. Reeves stated that this will help taxpayers save money over the long-term. Reeves pledged to end the “deadly circle” of violence in Jackson. In 2020, Jackson set a new record with 130 murders. It grew to more than 150 murders in 2021…That is unacceptable.” Reeves noted that a shooting occurred just blocks away from the Capitol steps where he was giving his speech. READ MORE: Showing force: Governor. Reeves claims state officers will combat crime in Jackson. “That is why, I have championed the expansion of our Capitol Police force,” Reeves stated. “… This is why I proposed Doubling the Size of Our Capitol Police… Doubling our Capitol Police, which is the first and most immediate action that we can take within our state’s jurisdiction, was the reason. We have the power to do it and must. Reeves recently authorized $1,000 in one time hazard pay for sworn officers of the state police who served during the COVID-19 emergency. You are loved. Your life has purpose, and your life has meaning. Your state needs you. Your life is a blessing for others, even if you don’t realize it. We are grateful that you are here, alive and with us.” This decision was made due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many legislators and statewide elected officials attended, the event was less popular than previous state-of-the states speeches. Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons focused much of his Democratic response to Reeves on health care. He stressed the importance of fighting the pandemic, expanding Medicaid to the working poor and expanding Medicaid. He acknowledged the nearly 7,000 Mississippians who died from COVID-19, and said Democrats support the use of a portion the $1.8 billion state federal coronavirus relief funds to help health care providers fight the pandemic. He also suggested that the state expand Medicaid to aid in its fight against COVID-19. Reeves has been a strong opponent of expanding Medicaid. He did not mention it in his speech. Simmons stated that Omicron is pushing case counts to record highs, leaving hundreds of thousands of Mississippians without coverage. Mississippi is not among 12 states that have expanded Medicaid. The federal government estimates that Medicaid expansion would generate between $10 billion and $12 billion in annual revenues over the next 10 years. Simmons stated that more healthcare access would lead to an estimated 9,000 well-paid medical jobs in Mississippi’s cities and towns. Simmons stated that he and other Democrats were happy that Republicans agreed that teachers in Mississippi need a substantial pay increase. He stated that the same applies to state employees. He said, “A pay increase for teachers and other state employees should not be a rare occurrence. It is encouraging that Republicans now join with Democrats to raise the teacher’s salary to the southeastern median.” “Democrats believe teachers and state workers deserve a raise. “The future of (our state) is how we reward, retain, and promote our workers,” Simmons said. Simmons also praised the federal infrastructure bill, which was supported by both Mississippi U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (a Democrat), and Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (a Republican). Simmons stated, “If President Biden and Congressman Thompson can reach across to deliver an investment like this, then there’s no reason why we can’t work together and solve any problems we face as a country.” Simmons said that there are other issues such as making it easier to vote and improving job training. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to us today as we celebrate our Spring Member Drive.