Public Service Commissioner Cecil Brown said on Monday that he will not run for an elected position again, including the one he currently holds.
While speaking to a group at the Stennis Institute Press Luncheon in Jackson, Brown offered his opinion of where the state is succeeding and where it is failing. He went on to point out that we are doing well with unemployment at an all-time low, new businesses continue to invest in the state and the passage of the infrastructure bill in the special session is promising for the state’s failing roads and bridges to be reconstructed.
However, Brown said there is “another side of Mississippi.” In this, he lists all the areas he believes the state could vastly improve. Mississippi has the lowest per capita income, bad health statistics, fewest doctors per capita with an average lifespan 40 years less than that of the rest of the United States.
— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) December 10, 2018
Brown said the refusal to expand Medicaid was a bad policy decision made by the legislature, that coupled with major budget cuts has left the state financially impaired unable to do things like a state worker pay raise and a teacher pay raise.
Last years legislation to rid the state of corporate franchise taxes for a few years, he says will not increase economic activity in the state. Before moving on to discuss the Public Service Commission and it’s recent moves toward expanding Broadband, Brown praised the media.
“Without a free press, we would have to rely on what politicians say,” said Brown. He named off several media outlets across the state that he felt showed now “party partisan” and thanked them for their efforts on covering politics and policy across Mississippi.
He briefly answered questions regarding a recent push for legislation in 2019 to allow for the Electric Power Association to expand their authority to provide broadband in parts of the state that do not currently have access to the internet, or at least not good access.
He said if the legislation and then co-ops vote to move in and provide the broadband the PSC will have little to no regulation over them, just as they have little to no control over cable companies.
“There is no taxpayer money involved. If they did this they would charge the customer just like you pay for service for energy,” said Brown.” There would be no fallback on taxpayers.”
Broadband service has been a growing issue for rural businesses and schools throughout Mississippi who lack adequate services in their area.