Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday 3/8; Redistricting, Visitors

So, here's how it went down yesterday (this is 2nd hand information and from Twitter)...

1. House plan went to Senate Apportionment & Elections Committee...Senator McDaniel moved to table and the Senate committee voted to table, thus killing JR 1 (the House plan).

2. Senate plan came up in the Senate Apportionment & Elections Committee...Senator Joey Fillingane moved to adopt a strike-all amendment which did away with the majority-minority district in Hattiesburg, and this strike-all passed.

3. On Wednesday (today), it will be interesting to see which plan Chairman Terry Burton presents to the entire Senate, and if the Hattiesburg delegation will have the votes to amend the plan on the floor, as he did in committee.

Also on Tuesday, we were lucky enough to have the Hattiesburg Chamber Orchestra play in the Capitol rotunda during the lunch hour. For the second straight year, these incredible musicians dazzled everyone there. I can't tell you how proud it makes me when they come to visit. It solidifies Hattiesburg's place as the center of culture and the arts in this state. And a lot of folks can say negative things about our school district, but no one can touch us in many of the arts programs. After their performance, Chairman Watson and I were able to meet with them in the Ways & Means Committee room to discuss what we do in the Legislature. Then they were able to watch the ATV safety bill debate. It was also good to see Steve, Margie and Taylor Willis, who were visiting with the group.

And to close out yesterday, I send a happy belated birthday wish to my former roommate Isaac Gardner, who's now an accomplished actor and musician in New York City...and ditto for Theresa Erickson, who's pretty much changing the world in Hattiesburg by leading the Pine Belt Community Foundation.

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