Gov. Barbour's final State of the State Address - - Jackson, MS

Gov. Barbour's final State of the State Address

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Haley Barbour gave his final State of the State address Tuesday night. 

Gov. Barbour commended a job well done to the State Legislature.

"Thank you for all you've done to change our state for the better," Gov. Barbour said. "And thanks for all you're going to do to make sure we keep moving forward."

He announced item number one on his agenda to add 100 troopers to Mississippi roads from $7.3 million of Governor discretionary stimulus funds.

Barbour also said he's going to use $40 to $50 million in Medicaid surplus to add home and community based care to 7,800 beneficiaries statewide.

Overall, it's job creation that's stuck with members of the legislature.

"And he his definitely his mark on our state because of the thousands of jobs he's helped create," said State Senator Lee Yancey, Brandon-R.

Long-time state politician and Democratic Representative Steve Holland said Gov. Barbour has been one of the most influential governor's in history.

"He's been absolute most politically powerful governor in history that's ever sat in this chair and he got basically what he wanted in his seven/eight years," Rep. Holland said.

Meantime, the Governor talked about improving education in the state.

He asked lawmakers to consider, once again, adding charter schools in Mississippi.

He also recommended a dual enrollment program for high school students to earn college credits.

Lastly, he said it's time Mississippi adds a Civil Rights Museum to downtown Jackson.

"He is well aware of what drives Mississippi and what is important. And his focus has really benefited us all," said Sen. Billy Hewes, Gulfport-R.

In response to the Governor's last State of the State, Democratic leaders say it's a bi-partisan effort that will move the state forward.

"We know that the state budget will be tight," said Rep. Cecil Brown, Jackson-D. "But Democratic and Republican leaders in the state House and Senate have already started working together on bi-partisan funding plan."

As Gov. Barbour begins his final chapter as the state's leader, he says it's Mississippi's resiliency that will continue to move the state forward.

"The country and the world have a new image of our state. So it's up to us to meet the challenge," Barbour said. "Better said, it's up to us to meet the opportunity."

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