Pay Raise for Mississippi Teachers Is Keeping Them Honest

Republican House Speaker Phillip Gunn

Keeping them Honest: Where do they stand?

The past two weeks has seen a lot of posturing around the issue of teacher pay raises. Some members positions have shifted all over the place but unlike most political doublespeak, they are being called out this time. Since its debut on the scene, the group Pay Raise for Mississippi Teachers has brought the topic of teacher pay raises to the forefront of Mississippi politics and the legislative session that began on January 7th. Speaker Phillip Gunn’s support of the idea has given life to the notion that Mississippi teachers will see some sort of pay hike this session.

Pay Raise for Mississippi Teachers will be holding a rally at the State Capitol today, January 20, 2014. Representative Steve Holland and Democratic Leader Bobby Moak ware among the speakers for this event that kicks off at 2:00 PM.

To date, several members have given some indication as to whether or not they will support a pay increase this session so we decided to create a running “Roll Call” of the members and their public positions.

Teacher Pay Raise 2014:



Whittington, Bailey, Hines, Anderson, Denton, Jackson, Clark, Espy, Steverson, B. Evans, Reynolds, Miles, Gibbs, Moak, Baria, Holland, M. Evans, Bain


Lamar, DeBar, Gunn, Barton, Turner, Nelson, Massengill, Mims, Bounds, Arnold, Frierson, Mayo, Boyd, Snowden


Aldridge(R), Rushing(R), Hood(R), Moore(R)





Stone, Jones, Blount,


Massey, Hill, Parker, Ward, Hopson,


Longwitz(R), Tollison(R), Gipson(R)



NOTE: If you don’t see a legislators’ name on the list it indicates that they’ve not taken a public stance on the topic of teacher pay raises that can be verified by MS Political Pulse. We will continue to update this list

Twas’ A Month Before Qualifying: With a Mississippi Flavor

By: Mike Biggs

Twas’ a month before qualifying, all across the Magnolia State, Candidates have been fretting, whether to jump into the race. Pickering was pondering and Hosemann made known, That he was ready to go to Washington if Thad came home!

The Democrats wanted in on the upper chamber chatter, So in came Childers hinting he was ready to climb that ladder. Away in the Free State of Jones, a native son never blinked, For Chris was ready for Cochran, even ready to throw the kitchen sink!

Thompson, Harper, Nunnelee and Palazzo all seem safe, They will likely only see sacrificial lambs try and give them a race. But wait, Palin, DeMint and Heritage can still shake things up you see. They’ve got their arrows aimed at Republicans who refuse to drink the TEA.

The Tea Party may not be the only spoiler in town, For Marcy is ready to try on the Democratic sash and crown. Interesting dynamics keeps the political pendulum swinging, While sherrifs, supervisors and coroners phones keep a’ ringing. It’s Nosef or White or Tate or Phil, persuading the official to swallow the GOP pill.

State Democrats are active and out convincing too, Project 1776 is working as it goes into year two. House Dems have set their sights back on the speaker’s gavel, They’ll have rough terrain to defend if they can manage not to unravel.

So on Moak, Gunn, Whittington and Kenny Wayne, This upcoming session and election cycle is sure to be full of games. There’s one thing that makes this madness all worthwhile, And that’s seeing my friend Presley, dosey doe’n with the Carolina crowd. So to all to whom such a closure evokes fear, The PULSE wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

New Legislative Session Marks Republican Dominance


Sun Herald: New legislative session marks Republican dominance

Though Republicans swelled their majority in the state Senate, maybe the biggest change is the party’s takeover of the House. The party gained nine seats and one when Donnie Bell of Fulton switched from the Democrats, giving the GOP 64 votes in the 122-seat chamber.

Gunn hasn’t said whether he will name any Democrats to leadership positions. Republicans were angered at their exclusion when outgoing House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, named only Democrats to chair committees in 2008 after a bruising speaker’s race. Some Democrats hope Gunn will look past that slight.

The 2012 session, at the start of a four-year term, lasts for 120 days. That’s longer than the 90-day sessions that will follow in the next three years. The extra time may be welcomed by an unusually large crop of new lawmakers. There will be 32 new members in the 122-seat House, and 15 new members in the 52-seat Senate.

Can the GOP majority govern or will the Tea Party fringe block any efforts for conpromise this session? This is the question that remains unanswered.

Gunn’s Rapid Rise About to Make Him House Speaker


NE Miss Daily Journal: Gunn’s rapid rise about to make him House speaker

In his first term, a high school page turned to a reporter as Gunn spoke in the well of the House and said he and some of the other pages had met with Gunn, and they felt sure he would run for statewide office one day.

Republicans who gained a majority in the House in the November general election for the first time since the late 1800s selected Gunn as their preference for House speaker during a closed-door meeting about a week after the election.

“Philip is a good man,” said Rep. Preston Sullivan, D-Okolona, who has been Gunn’s deskmate for the past eight years. “Some of our politics are different – not all.

It remains to be seen how Rep. Gunn will work with the 58 House Democrats. The 6 vote difference is not a super majority so his leadership approach will determine his effectiveness as Speaker-in-waiting.