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Lawmakers gathering for annual legislative breakfast

NATCHEZ — Residents will have the opportunity next week to share breakfast and questions with state lawmakers.

The Mississippi legislature convened Tuesday, and the Natchez Adams County Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual legislative breakfast Monday at the Eola Hotel to allow the area’s delegation a chance to address local and state concerns at the beginning of the session. Lawmakers who will be attending include Sen. Kelvin Butler, D-Magnolia, and Sen. Melanie Sojourner, R-Natchez, and Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Natchez, and Rep. Sam Mims, R-McComb.

During the breakfast, each legislator will be given five minutes to address the issues they think will be of importance during the session. Though direct questions won’t be taken from the floor, those who attend will be allowed to submit written questions for the delegation to answer.

“People should come because these are the people they elected to represent them, this is face-to-face and you can ask somebody a specific question and get an answer,” said chamber legislative committee chair Stephanie Hutchins said. “You will also hear from them about the state of our state and what is coming up that will affect everybody.”

Chamber President Debbie Hudson said the breakfast is an opportunity for voters to get a better grasp on how the legislative process can have an effect on business and industry.

“We encourage people to come because we have had a lot on our plate in the last year as a community, with the city, county and Natchez Inc., and our whole portfolio of different economic issues,” Hudson said. “We need these people to listen to us, and we need to listen to them.”

The breakfast will be $10 at the door, with doors opening at 7:30 a.m. The program will start at 8 a.m. and be over at approximately 9 a.m., though Hutchins said legislators are usually available to talk individually after the event.

“As (the legislators) approve budgets and look at allocations for money, everybody has some interest in where that is going, whether it is education or highways or anything else,” Hutchins said.

A similar breakfast will follow the close of the session in the spring.