Mississippi legislature begins 2014 session

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - Both chambers of the Mississippi legislature began the 2014 legislative session at noon Tuesday at the state Capitol in Jackson.

Senator Chris McDaniel, who said he will remain committed to his job in Jackson even while on the campaign trail, said he will "continue to push conservative policy" this session.

McDaniel said legislation that he will push this spring includes term limits, 2nd Amendment concerns, as well as the halt of the controversial implementation of Common Core State Standards.

"Why attach federal money to a program," asked McDaniel, referring to the state's constitutional right to allow schools to choose their standards, curriculum and concurrent assessments.

McDaniel, who has been a major opponent of Common Core through the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition, said while he is proud of the successes of the school district in his district, he does not believe Common Core is the answer for the future of Mississippi's education woes.

On another educational policy point, McDaniel said he is highly in favor of a teacher pay raise; however, like many other areas, money is a factor that is preventing action from being taken.

"Our money must go back into the pockets of taxpayers," said McDaniel when asked the most important way for Mississippi to allocate funds.

House Representatives Larry Byrd (Dist. 104) and Ken Morgan (Dist. 100) also said educational policy will be a major legislative issue for the House this session.

Byrd, unable to go into full detail Tuesday, said he has plans to introduce legislation that will benefit students with dyslexia. His past experience with this group of students has afforded many opportunities, including mandatory screening as well as the 3D School in Petal.

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