JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -- The Mississippi Economic Policy Center held a one day conference on Friday at the Marriott Hotel in Jackson for policy leaders across the state to discuss topic areas facing Mississippians today.
They touched on issues of health care, the dangers of pay day lending, the state's overall economic situation, and poverty in Mississippi.
Executive Director, Ed Sivak said they hope to work towards a climate so that Mississippians in a disadvantaged situation can feel financially secure and in turn help pull the state out of its slump.
"We're looking at ways to improve the skills of the workforce to compete for higher wages." Sivak continued, "We're also looking at ways to maximize the opportunity for health care reform in Mississippi."
Policy advocates who attended say once the recession hit and state revenues declined those already struggling, struggled even more.
"If you level the playing ground you make it better for the economy, because if people aren't working they're not functioning in the economy and they're not benefiting the economy as a whole," said Economics Student at Jackson State University, Alexander Robinson.
Former Secretary of State Dick Molpus served Mississippi for more than 10 years during the 1980's and early 1990's.
In his speech, he talked about Mississippi's economic progress during the 1990's and early 2000's.
He said through cutting education after declining state revenue's put Mississippi in another direction. "We're going exactly in the wrong direction for the jobs for the future."
Molpus also points out he thinks Mississippi can change so long as state leaders can come together to reach common ground.
"We're reaching a point that we may never be able to recover from if we don't get our leaders together to come up with some solutions," Molpus commented.
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