JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In a one-on-one interview with Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, 12 News talked to him about education, medical marijuana and money coming into Mississippi from the COVID-19 stimulus.

Hosemann acknowledged the nation’s teacher shortage and what the future looks like to support educators in the state.

“We’re going to continue to march up the ladder, where we realize how that important that person (teacher) is to the future of Mississippi,” said Hosemann.

Question: What is your priority there with teacher pay?

Hosemann: Well, it’s time to raise the teacher compensation.

Hosemann: For a number of years, we have been progressing on graduation rates and other things, and this year we took a dip.

Question: Why is the legislature, some would say, been so slow to adequately fill the fund over the last several years?

Hosemann: Well, we started by giving teachers pay raise last year. now I thought in my first year, I thought we would get through that without any problem. but there’s just a slow recognition of the most important person in Mississippi long-term… it’s not an elected official. it’s that teacher sitting in front of that child.

Teacher pay was raised last year. Hosemann said teacher pay will boost again this year, along with Pre-K funding.

The legislature also plans to have an infrastructure bill whether the federal government comes through or not.

In regards to a special session for medical marijuana looming, that’s a matter of when. Governor Tate Reeves said he will call a session, but he has not said when.