Thursday night’s debate was fast-moving. Republican candidate Delbert Hosemann and Democratic candidate Jay Hughes agreed on several issues like raising teacher pay, and more transparency in government. The path of how they would get there, if elected, is different.
Is it time to change the state flag?
Hosemann: If the flag comes up in the senate we will vote on it. It’s not a priority.
Hughes: It’s a major decision. I believe it’s a decision made by the people. It does have a very big impact. We have so many other big issues like poverty, infant mortality.
Should the state accept money from the Affordable Care Act?
Hughes: Supports it. Then talked about a plan called Mississippi Cares through the hospital association that would create thousands of jobs and keep people in Mississippi, and bring money into Mississippi. He says five counties don’t have an emergency room. A stroke shouldn’t be a death sentence.
Hosemann: This is a $6 billion decision. We need to look at every option. We will look at expanding health care for everyone.
What is your plan to deal with infrastructure plan?
Hosemann: He is proposing a local options use tax. It could be 2 cents, 4 cents. It would empower supervisors to raise money. He says not everything has to come through the capitol.
Hughes: Biggest revenue gain last year was sales tax through internet purchases. We need to be giving it back to the counties instead of keeping it in general fund.
How would you raise teacher pay?
Hosemann: The amount depends on how much we have to spend in Mississippi.
Hughes: It’s teachers, but it’s also our state employees. We have to get back to our common sense, less testing.
Which committee assignments need to be change?
Hughes: The single economic investment we can make is quality of education. Educate the next generation.
Hosemann: Wants more transparency so people can see what’s going on with their government.
Why do you want to be lt. governor? Why are you the most qualified?
Hosemann: The position offers the opportunity to go forward on the budget on issues of education as I go forward.
Hughes: I’m transparent. I’m real. I believe in compromise and respect. I want to bring people together.
12 News is preparing for tonight’s Lt. Governor debate featuring State Representative Jay Hughes and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. Watch here beginning at 6:30 pm.