The Mississippi Legislature held its 2009 opening ceremonies today at the Old Mississippi Capitol where an extensive restoration was just completed to fix damage wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Legislators gaveled in at noon and were joined by Gov. Haley Barbour and former Gov. William Winter, who held his inauguration at the Old Capitol in 1980, as well as a host of statewide elected officials.
Legislators listened to remarks from Barbour and Winter, as well as from the officials in both chambers of the Legislature, and both had finished for the day within about an hour and a half. The only official business was a resolution honoring the work that the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and others did on the restoration project.
On Wednesday, legislators will return to the current Capitol, which opened in 1903, for the scheduled 90-day session. Proposed tobacco taxes and finding a solution to recurring Medicaid shortfalls are expected to be the major issues. Lawmakers will also be trying to legislate with a tight budget.
Happy days are here again! I will be watching and writing about the antics of the elected officials and at the end of the session I will be writing on the Good, the Bad and the Ugly that was attempted.