Cindy Hyde-Smith

United States Senator for Mississippi

State, local issues get spotlight at ICC

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Daily Journal
 

State, local issues get spotlight at ICC
 

By Caleb Bedillion
 

FULTON • Jobs training and rural development were major themes as a trio of federal lawmakers evaluated the state of Mississippi and of the 1st Congressional District.
 

Sen. Roger Wicker, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Rep. Trent Kelly gathered on Monday at the Fulton campus of Itawamba Community College.
 

Perhaps with a nod to the setting, education and jobs training took the spotlight.
 

Kelly, for example, described community colleges as “the greatest workforce developers.”
 

ICC touted the event as an opportunity some of the region’s top elected leaders to discuss the state of the district.
 

A moderator asked questions that shied away from hot-button issued and focused on brain drain, rural development, infrastructure and public health.
 

Wicker and Hyde-Smith both espoused the view that retention of the state’s young people and rural vitality depend on the availability of jobs.
 

For Hyde-Smith, the existence of these jobs depends in turn on strong educational opportunities.
 

“It is so critical that we recruit, recruit, recruit businesses,” Hyde-Smith said. “But we have to have a trained workforce for those businesses.”
 

Hyde-Smith, who was until recently state agriculture commissioner and before that a state legislator, touted Mississippi’s as “business friendly.”
 

That reputation, in her telling, includes changes to the civil justice system that limited awards that plaintiffs could receive through lawsuits.
 

In addition to recruitment of large manufacturing, Hyde-Smith called for an environment that fosters the growth of small businesses.
 

Hyde-Smith, who was until recently state agriculture commissioner and before that a state legislator, touted Mississippi’s as “business friendly.”
 

That reputation, in her telling, includes changes to the civil justice system that limited awards that plaintiffs could receive through lawsuits.
 

In addition to recruitment of large manufacturing, Hyde-Smith called for an environment that fosters the growth of small businesses.
 

Kelly sounded a similar note in remarks that focused on the need for small-business to provide non-agricultural jobs in a rural context.
 

Though all these officeholders are Republican incumbents running for re-election, campaign signs were not allowed, and the event was billed as a non-partisan opportunity for students and community members to interact with their elected leaders.
 

Hyde-Smith did offer some closing remarks that hinted fairly closely as a key argument Republicans, from President Donald Trump on down, have used in the closing weeks of this campaign cycle.
 

“Good things are happening in our country. I know you see a lot of things on national news but I promise you the economy is doing so much better,” Hyde-Smith said. “We are in a very good position right now, but we cannot let that moment be wasted on any of us. We have got to get out, we have got to exercise that right to vote.”
 

With perhaps an eye on a polarized and divisive political climate in the country, Wicker in his closing comments seemed to highlight the importance of compromise.
 

“They had to make some compromises,” Wicker said, speaking of the constitution’s drafters. “They got mad at each other. They probably got drunk. They shook their fists at each other. They were all humans. I’m not proud of the three-fifths rule. There were a lot of things we had to accept in that document that we celebrate today. But it got us this greatest experiment in self-government.”

Washington, D.C. Office

113 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5054
Fax: (202) 224-5321
 

State Offices

Jackson Office
190 East Capitol St., #550
Jackson, MS  39201
Phone (601) 965-4459
Fax (601) 965-4919

Gulfport Office
2012 15th Street, #451
Gulfport, MS 39501
Phone (228) 867-9710
Fax (228) 867-9789
 

State Offices

Oxford
911 Jackson Ave., #249
Oxford, MS  38655
Phone (662) 236-1018
Fax (662) 236-7618