Wednesday, January 6, 2016
The City of Jackson scaled back its legislative agenda this year. That might be prompted in part by the sheer lack of the success Jackson has had at the Capitol in recent years; it might also have to do with the fact that Jackson will have a number of legislative fights on its hands and doesn't want too many distractions. Only five requests make up the agenda, which the council approved Nov. 3.
One is to provide grants for Jackson from the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER grant program, which recently awarded Jackson $16.5 million for two projects in north Jackson.
The city council also asked for help getting infrastructure grants from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to establish a separate fund for maintaining infrastructure near the Capitol complex and to give special taxing authority to community-improvement associations for neighborhood enhancements.
Finally, in a perennial request, the capital city wants the state to create a special fund to help Jackson pay for police and fire protection of state-owned buildings.
Jackson's legislative agenda for the 2015 session had 17 items. Worth Thomas, of WT Consulting, will again head up Jackson's lobbying efforts. In September, council members approved Thomas' contract for $67,200 for the coming year.
"Lobbying is for the things you want, but the other part of lobbying is making sure you're lobbying against the things that are adverse to your efforts as well," Mayor Tony Yarber said Dec. 29, referring to a proposal to turn control of its airport to a seven-member commission made up of appointees of the governor.