Governor Haley Barbour
April 21, 2004

The First 100 Days: Fulfilling Promises, Facing Problems

While the first 100 days is a mythical political benchmark, some use it as a measuring stick of the progress of a new administration. Governor Haley Barbour has spent his first 100 days in office fulfilling the promises he made as a candidate and facing the problems that have plagued Mississippi for decades.

Since January 14, Governor Barbour has …

Jobs
· Proposed the largest overhaul of Mississippi’s workforce training efforts in state history – which includes streamlining federal and state workforce development dollars and giving community colleges a bigger franchise in efforts to better train Mississippi workers. The legislation has passed both the Senate and the House.

· Completed four major economic development announcements that helped create more than 4,000 direct and indirect new jobs – Textron (Greenville), Faurecia (Cleveland), FedEx Ground (Olive Branch) and the Braves AA Franchise (Pearl).

· Proposed a $5 million increase in the Mississippi Development Authority budget above the Legislative Budget Recommendation to assist in industrial recruitment efforts.

· Launched a new in-state tourism effort to encourage more Mississippians to spend their travel and leisure dollars in Mississippi.

· Proposed a comprehensive tort reform initiative that passed the Senate and is under consideration in the House.

Budget
· Proposed the only plan in the 2004 Legislative Session to eliminate Mississippi’s $700 million budget shortfall. It eliminates red ink in two years and does so without raising taxes.

· Proposed the largest state government cost-saving initiative in Mississippi history – “Operation: Streamline.” The Senate has passed all of “Operation: Streamline” while the House has adopted parts of it.

· Helped stop all tax hike proposals in the Legislature.

· Proposed more than $250 million in savings in the agencies that report to the Governor -- $350 million in all.

Education
· Proposed a $100 million increase in the budget for Mississippi universities and community colleges above the Legislative Budget Recommendation to help alleviate recent cuts.

· Proposed adding $44 million to the K-12 education budget from increased revenue projections.

· Held the line with legislators for stable funding for education by appropriating only “real money” before the fiscal year begins so schools can avoid mid-year cuts.

· Passed a teacher recruitment bill that will help our state address Mississippi’s teacher shortage.

Tort Reform
· Worked with legislators on measures to stop lawsuit abuse – which passed the Senate by a 2 to 1 margin.

· Announced an intention to call a special session of the Legislature if tort reform is not passed by the House during the regular session.

Health Care
· Proposed the largest-ever overhaul of Mississippi’s Medicaid Program – which includes eligibility redetermination, a disease management component and bulk purchasing of the state’s pharmaceutical costs. The Medicaid Reform legislation has passed both the Senate and House in differing versions.

Crime/Corrections
· Reopened the Delta Correctional Facility – to house criminals at a cheaper cost to taxpayers.

· Conducted a wholesale review of Mississippi’s correctional system to identify cost-saving measures that will not affect safety, including an initial $34 million savings recommendation.

· Coordinating Mississippi’s law enforcement efforts by putting the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics officially under the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

· Added $1.2 million to Mississippi’s drug enforcement efforts above the Legislative Budget Recommendation.

Appointments
· Appointed experienced experts in their fields as heads of each of his departments, including:
-- Medicaid Director Dr. Warren Jones – one of the former leaders of the U.S. Military’s TriCare Program.
-- MS Development Authority Dir. Leland Speed -- nationally-recognized businessman
-- DHS Director Col. Don Taylor – former DHS director
-- Dept. of Finance and Administration Dir. Col. Hoopy Stringer -- former Personnel Board head

· Appointed graduates of Mississippi’s four comprehensive universities (MSU, UM, USM, JSU) to the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees.

 


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741
         

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