Come to breakfast

Published 7:00 am Sunday, January 22, 2023

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, in a recent Natchez visit, said Mississippi is in “amazing economic shape” with $1.4 billion in surplus funds and $350 million remaining of the American Rescue Plan Act fund.

Now state leaders are looking at ways to spend it all.

Let’s talk about what is NOT in good shape.

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One of the top concerns facing our state at this moment, which should concern all of us, is Mississippi’s hospitals.

Hospitals face the challenge of continuing to save lives, regardless of whether or not the patient can pay for it. Lately, it seems, the majority of working Americans face economic hardship escalated by inflation.

Most hospitals are providing care with a deficit and someone needs to pick up the slack.

Otherwise, rural hospitals such as ours, which can’t afford to operate in the red, will be the first ones to go. In a city that is riddled with low-income senior adults who desperately need quick and affordable access to healthcare, that’s a scary thought.

Amid these challenges is a shortage of nurses to staff available beds, an issue that has continued since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republicans and Democrats alike have rightly and justly turned their attention to Mississippi’s healthcare system at the very beginning of the 2023 legislative session.

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann recently announced four bills pending in Senate committees aimed at helping hospitals and growing the healthcare workforce in Mississippi.

Another issue facing Natchez and Adams County, as always, is the continuation of flooding, drainage issues and erosion. A recent study conducted by the City of Natchez identified just under $58 million worth of projects to alleviate these issues.

Don’t expect that all to be taken care of this year before elections, but maybe the state can help us chip away at the iceberg.

At 7:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23, is the annual legislative breakfast at the Natchez Grand Hotel hosted by the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce.

Everyone in our community is invited to attend and hear about the agenda of the 2023 legislative session from our elected officials.

As this is an election year for our legislators, they have been very vocal about what’s important to them. Let’s be vocal about what is important to us.