Its task is simple, but not always easy, especially when dealing with the financial backing.
"The primary function of our agency is to provide guidance to folks in government who want to comply with the law," said executive director of the Mississippi Ethics Commission Tom Hood. "We guarantee openness and integrity in state and local government and you can't put a price on that."
Lawmakers have to though when putting together a state budget. As it stands now, the Ethics Commission, known for its role in making sure elected leaders are abiding by the ethics law, could get an 18 percent funding cut. That's if the recommendation from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee is adopted.
"It would be devastating. We'd probably have to lay off essential personnel and stop conduction essential functions," said Hood.
As an agency with only seven employees, Hood says he questioned the proposed cut. Fortunately he says, it appears to be an oversight and doesn't expect such a large cut to happen. Currently operating on just more than $650,000, any funding reduction would have impacts.
"We don't ask for more than we need and I expect the legislature will continue what they've done in the recent past and give us what we need to operate," said Hood.
The agency was set up by the legislature back in 1979 after suspected corruption in county level politics. Eight statewide members make up the commission. It's all a part of democracy which Hood says plays a vital role in Mississippi.
"Most people in government want to comply with the law, they just need to know how to comply with the law and what the law is," said Hood.
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:13 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:13:14 GMT
Two elementary school girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by another female student. One incident happening while the two girls were at school. Two mothers are now speaking out about their daughters.More >>
Two Jackson mothers are speaking out after they say their daughters were sexually assaulted by another female student. One of the incidents allegedly happened at school.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:31:22 GMT
The pastor and members of a Jefferson county church make the gruesome discovery of a body on the way to Bible study Wednesday evening. Sheriff Peter Walker said a woman's body was found just before 6:30More >>
Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Walker has identified the woman found dead in the cemetery of East Mount Olive Baptist Church Wednesday night.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:05:30 GMT
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.A spokesperson for the Mississippi DepartmentMore >>
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:34 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:34:55 GMT
Chokwe Lumumba covered a wide range of issues in a one-on-one interview Wednesday evening. Lumumba is the winner of the Democratic Primary runoff for mayor of Jackson and he has a strong chance to winMore >>
Chokwe Lumumba covered a wide range of issues in a one-on-one interview Wednesday. Lumumba is the winner of the Democratic Primary runoff for mayor of Jackson and he has a strong chance to win the June fourth general election.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:00 PM EDT2013-05-24 00:00:32 GMT
We've taken numerous calls from taxpayers who are still waiting on their state tax refund. Three on your side went straight to the source to find out why. While 75% of the refund checks have been mailedMore >>
Mississippi's state income tax refunds are a little slow this year. While 75% of the refund checks have been mailed out, thousands of Mississippians are still waiting.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:45:01 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police. An orange circle marks the pointMore >>
A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:38:18 GMT
The picture of a George County dog set on fire is disturbing. Authorities say the circumstances surrounding how fire consumed the dog are shocking. According to George County Sheriff Dean Howell, 20-year-oldMore >>
Socks, the dog reportedly burned this week by his owner, has died. That word comes from a George County Sheriff's deputy. Socks succumbed to injuries suffered after 20-year-old Brandon Pierce allegedly set his dog on fire Tuesday night. The suspect told deputies he torched the dog because he "wanted to help the dog go to heaven."More >>