Governor Bryant discusses hot button issues for 2014

The Area Development Partnership of Hattiesburg held its annual meeting on Wednesday with Governor Phil Bryant as keynote speaker.

"Mississippi is number five in the nation for entrepreneurial success; That means our small businesses do better than 45 other states in America," Bryant said.

More than 200 members of the Hattiesburg Area Development Partnership attended the annual ADP meeting. Bryant said that last year, he set a goal to help Mississippians get 5,000 jobs, and that he reached that goal.

Mississippi's Joint Legislative Budget Committee approved a $5.8 billion budget for 2014, which is $0.3 billion less than his initial request of $6.1 billion.

"Well, that's normally the starting position; it's difficult to explain, but they really do not know exactly how much revenue we'll have," Bryant said.

"The revenue estimating committee will come in March. We've got a pretty good projection of what we think it will be. Last year, my executive budget recommendation was about 15 million dollars less than the final budget, so it will grow, but we will maintain 2 percent in the savings account, and that's what I've insisted to the legislature we'll do."

Lt. Governor Tate Reeve's said in Tuesday's legislative session that the committee is putting a priority on education, but Governor Bryant's agenda leans more toward funding public safety.

"If you don't have public safety, education doesn't work, economic development doesn't work, health care doesn't work, and right now, particularly in some of our cities, that societal protection is breaking down-- We've gotta get some law enforcement on the streets to protect our people," Bryant said.

Lt. Governor Tate Reeves says the $5.8 billion budget is the most responsible budget Mississippi has seen in 15 years.