Bryant reacts to beginning of session, Trump cabinet hearings

Bryant reacts to beginning of session, Trump cabinet hearings

CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) - Governor Phil Bryant is sizing up the first week of the 2017 Legislative Session.

He said the state faces some budget challenges, but it is not in bad shape.

The first deadline was Wednesday.

Lawmakers were required to have all requests for general bills and constitutional amendments drafted.

Those bills have to be introduced by Jan. 14.

"The budget for 2017 is about 15 percent larger, three times the rate of inflation, than the first budget I had as governor in 2012," Bryant said. "So, that idea, somehow, that there are draconian cuts or that we're in difficult conditions is not accurate."

Bryant said he is looking forward to signing his first bill of the session this week. It deals with the appointing of school superintendents when vacancies occur.

He was at Camp Shelby Wednesday, to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a new monument honoring Gold Star families.

Meanwhile, Bryant said he will attend president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration next week.

He said this week's Senate hearings for Trump's cabinet nominees are part of a "healthy debate," as the country prepares for an orderly transition of power.

"I think in the end you will see all of his appointments to the cabinet confirmed and we'll go about having a peaceful transfer of power," Bryant said. "That's the amazing thing about this great country. I will be in Washington on the 20th to see the new president sworn in to office and we'll begin the challenge of governing after that."

Bryant campaigned for Trump in several different states.