Democrats respond to Governor Tate Reeves’ 2022 State of the State Address

Greenville Mayor Errick D. Simmons
Greenville Mayor Errick D. Simmons(WLBT)
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:17 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - On Tuesday, Governor Tate Reeves delivered his 2022 State of the State Address.

The governor discussed several key issues such as education, infrastructure, crime, critical race theory, and eliminating the income tax.

Following Gov. Reeves’ speech, Greenville Mayor Errick D. Simmons responded on behalf of Democratic leaders across the state.

Mayor Simmons began by acknowledging the state’s recent surge of COVID-19 cases. This month, the state experienced 9,000 COVID cases in one day, which is the largest single-day total since the pandemic began.

The mayor also took time to thank those who have served the state and committed to the citizens of Mississippi.

“To our doctors, nurses, EMTs, home staff members, respiratory therapists, and other healthcare workers — who continue to make great sacrifices in saving lives, we know that you are overworked and underpaid.”

“It [were] you who reached out to your state leaders this past summer and fall, begging for pandemic relief and help. Democrats stood with you then. And, Democrats stand with you now.”

Mayor Simmons called on Governor Reeves and the legislature to put federal funds to work to help ‘save our lifesavers, keep people on the job, and connect people to better jobs.’

A significant theme in the mayor’s speech was unity and getting Republicans and Democrats to come together and work through the challenges ahead.

One main point that Simmons and Reeves echoed in their speeches was an increased pay for teachers across the state.

“A pay raise for teachers and other state employees should be a regular occurrence, and it is encouraging that Republicans are now joining with Democrats to raise our teacher’s pay to the southeastern average,” said Mayor Simmons. “Democrats firmly believe that teachers AND state employees deserve a raise. The future of the state is how we reward and retain our workers.”

“I’m confident that in this session, working together, we will get a significant teacher pay raise done,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “It is my number one priority. Credit goes to where credit is due, and in COVID-19, Mississippi teachers deserve the credit.”

In his closing remarks, Mayor Simmons discussed how Mississippi can only be strong when every city, town, county, and region of Mississippi is strong.

“As we work together to improve upon what we already have, let Mississippi become the diamond that the world cannot resist coming out to see. We, together as Mississippians, will move this state forward, make it an inviting place to live, work, play and worship, and make Mississippi better for future generations.”

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