Conservatives in the Mississippi legislature will spend plenty of time considering cultural issues in the 2023 legislative session. Let’s hope they don’t forget to address the economy, too.
When the Mississippi Center for Public Policy published a Conservative Platform for our state just before the start of the current session, we called for a Woman’s Bill of Rights to counter some of the more extreme ‘woke’ ideology that has started to infect sports. We also suggested a Parents’ Bill of Rights and proposed a new law to tackle ‘woke’ corporatism.
It’s great to see that these ideas are being taken up and a strong swell of support for them among our lawmakers. But conservatives also need ideas to improve the economy.
Here are some things that conservatives in the legislature should look to do this session.
- Cut taxes: Mississippi has a massive budget surplus plus the largest cash reserves in our history. At the same time, we have a higher tax burden than many neighbouring states. Using some of that cash surplus to reduce taxes would allow us to grow like some of the neighbours.
- Remove restrictive rules that increase health costs: Mississippi has some of the worst health outcomes in the country. One of the reasons is that Mississippi has some seriously restrictive rules that prevent new healthcare providers expanding. These so called certificate of need, or CON laws, need to go.
- Abolish boards: Downtown Jackson is full of state boards, agencies and commissions. Far from living in a free market state, the permission of these officials is often needed for all kinds of economic activity. Many of them should simply be scrapped. It was wonderful to read a report written by the legislature calling for the abolition of the barber board. Why stop with that? Free Mississippi’s economy and shut down more boards.
- Deficit reporting: How state agencies report their finances might seem deathly dull, but it matters. For far too long those that run agencies have been able to ask for last minute funds from the legislature. A bill is needed to set out deficit reporting requirements so that state funds can be properly managed.
- Allow more home-based businesses: Of course, HOA rules should be respected. But unless your HOA prohibits it, why not make it easier to run a business from your home if you don’t disturb the neighborhood?