The Legislative Session

Both Speaker of the House Philip Gunn (R-Clinton) and Lt. Governor Tate Reeves step up to a particle-board podium.  Reporters turn on their tape recorders. Lobbyists text local restaurants to make lunch reservations.

Speaker Gunn speaks first, “Ladies and gentleman — and Steve Holland, the 133rd regular session of the Mississippi Legislature is now in session.” He picks up a gavel and whacks the podium so hard it shatters. “Sorry, I forget my own strength sometimes. Now, where was I?”

He pulls out a sheet of paper and puts on his readers. “Here are a few of the things we hope to accomplish this session. First of all, we’ll pass the Mississippi Lottery. And I don’t mean the kind of lottery like when you wonder if the bridge you’re crossing will collapse. I mean a full-fledged Powerball-loving, not having to drive to Delta, Louisiana kind of lottery. In fact, I’m buying the first 100 tickets. Maybe I’ll win so we can afford to turn the heat back on in the Capitol.”

The crowd, seeing their breath in the cold and a bit confused at the Speaker’s sudden reversal on the lottery, chuckles nervously.

“Let me continue. We will fully fund MAEP today. No need to rewrite something we’ve hardly ever funded. Also, I have named Rep. Jay Hughes from Oxford to replace John Moore as the head of the House Education Committee. I’ve always loved his well-written and witty Facebook commentaries.”

Thump.

Tupelo Daily-Journal capitol reporter Bobby Harrison passes out from shock.

Speaker Gunn steps aside and Lt. Governor Tate Reeves steps up to microphone. He points over to a white-headed gentleman who is lurking behind a column.

“Dick Hall, is that you?”

The MDOT commissioner nods.

“I want to be the first one to tell you that we’re going to give you all the money you need to fix the infrastructure in Mississippi. Yup. Every single cent. We’ve been listening to you Dick and we care what you have to say. I’ve got the bonds sitting on my desk”

Thump. Dick Hall passes out next to Bobby Harrison.

“And to all the agency leaders, rest assured, your budgets will be funded to the amount you requested! And on top of that, you’ll get new state vehicles, too! Have I ever mentioned how much I love state vehicles.”

A representative from the Department of Mental Health steps up to do an intervention. The Lt. Governor cuts her off.

“And I just wanted you to know that your budget will be restored as well.  No hard feelings, right?”

Thump. The representative from the Department of Mental Health passes out, too.

“And with interest rates continuing to be so low, I recommend we raise our debt level to pay for infrastructure improvements all across state government. The Lt. Governor bumps his heart with his fist, “IHL, I’m looking at you. Build a few more buildings. Heck put your catering bill on the state’s credit card, too. Also, the Speaker and I are going to work to help fix Medicaid.” The Lt. Governor looks to a man who looks like he has been up all night crying and fighting a tiger with stomach cramps, “Drew Snyder, you’ve got this brother. Tell me how much and I’ll cut a check.”

Drew Snyder, interim head of Medicaid, passes out next to the others.

“While I fundamentally believe in reducing the size of Government, I also believe that taxpayers should get a government that works. Even if that means putting off tax cuts when state revenue has tanked.”

Governor Phil Bryant saunters into the room. He’s carrying a bloody axe.

“Why howdy y’all! Shucks fire, it has been a good day cuttin’ gub’ment here in Mississippi. Why revenue is shrinking’ faster than our population but your buddy Phil is on it.” He sits down and puts his boots on the table, “I’m here to announce a few things that will happen this session, too.  First of all, while I’m a fan of the current state flag, it’s time to come up with a new design. I’ll work with the legislature to make that happen right away.  Also, I’m all for school choice meaning I want all Mississippians to want to choose their local school.  Also, I’ve named myself a replacement for Thad Cochran’s senate seat. Forget my house in the country. I want to move to D.C.”

The stunned crowd stares at the three men. Suddenly Clarion Ledger capitol reporter Geoff Pender looks at his notes asks, “Wait a minute! Doesn’t the session end on April 1st this year?!?”

All three state leaders, with giant grins on their faces, say at the same time, “April Fool’s ya’ll!!”

 

 

 

About Marshall Ramsey