Published on June 6th, 2018 | by Jay Hughes0
Things we tolerate in Mississippi (and shouldn’t)
There are two insanities we regularly tolerate in Mississippi: Politicians’ convenient post-vote version of truth, and the short memory of voters.
The latest ruse claimed by lawmakers with selective memory is that some low-down, dirty trickster snuck language for legalized sports betting into a perfectly good bill about unicorns and rainbows. To this, I say Hogwash!
During the 2017 Legislative session, House Bill #967 passed with “yes” votes of 92 of 122 representatives and 46 of 52 Senators. So, in light of the recent shock and denials, one of two things is true: 1. The bill preparation, drafting, reading, committee passage, floor debate, and 174 elected officials voting, Speaker of the House and staff, Lt. Governor and staff, and Governor and staff, are so out of touch with what is really happening during session that not a single one of these 176 elected officials and scores of staff members realized such a dastardly provision was in the bill; Or 2., Everyone within the Marble Halls, including the elevator operator, knew exactly what was in the bill, and are now not sure how to defend their vote.
I give the voters far more credit than that. If it were really true that all those elected folks had no clue what was in the bill, then maybe we have just recognized the reason our Mississippi Constitution has a provision to have bills read aloud at a normal rate of speed, instead of the demon chipmunk gibberish that was defended by the powers that be.
The only reality is that lawmakers either voted and got this law into place because that is how they were instructed to vote on it, or they voted without knowing what was in it. I took oaths in the Army and as a legislator to support the constitutions of our country and Mississippi. Sadly, some elected officials now interpret them to do so by either voting as you are instructed or voting without knowing what you are voting on.
Will Rogers said it best: “When you straddle a thing it takes a long time to explain it.”
Rep. Jay Hughes
District 12 – Lafayette
MS House of Representatives