Gulf Coast Legislation Reception
Tonight, hundreds of leaders from South Mississippi’s business community take over Jackson for the 2017 Gulf Coast Legislative Reception.
The annual event is an opportunity for community leaders to discuss Gulf Coast issues face to face with our state legislators. News 25’s Kendra Turley takes us inside the celebration.
Hot food and hot topics filled the Trademart Center in Jackson for the 2017 Gulf Coast Legislative Reception. Gulf Coast Legislative Reception Chairman James Kaigler said, “Normally we have between 1,500 and 2,000 people. The feedback’s been great. People love the event. They love coming up to it every year. They look forward to it. It’s a social event on everyone’s calendar that they look forward to.”
The reception allows business and community leaders from the Coast the chance to discuss important issues and pieces of legislation with state legislatures and senators. Cynthia Chauvin with CASA Hancock County said, “For us it’s a night to talk about our work and bring the stories to light of the children that we serve.”
The hot button topic throughout the night was campaign finance reform. Minutes before the reception, House representatives passed a bill prohibiting personal use of campaign finance money by elected officials and candidates. State Representative Hank Zuber said, “We are public servants. We should not be able to become unjustly enriched and have a golden parachute because of our office.”
With billions of dollars headed to the state for BP oil spill restoration, settlement money served as another popular topic throughout the evening. Senator Sean Tindell said, “It allows us to show the other legislators just how important the seafood industry is and how much damage we received after the BP oil spill and why we need to continue to replenish those funds down there.”
First-timers and those who attended the event each year both agree the reception is a festive and beneficial way to help push Mississippi in the right direction. State Representative John Hines said, “I hadn’t missed it since I’ve been here. My 16 years being in legislature, this is the highlight of my legislative career as far as receptions.”