January 18, 2012 1:16:00 PM
By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS
JACKSON -- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said he'll offer specific policy proposals when he gives his first State of the State address next week.
"I'll try to work on the themes that were part of the inaugural address, but narrow them down, actually talk about specific legislation that I think will affect education, that will affect job creation," Republican Bryant said Tuesday before speaking to the Mississippi Hospital Association.
"We'll talk about the budget process, of course. We're going to try to narrow that vision to specifics," he said.
A legislative resolution says the speech is set for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 24 on the south steps of the Capitol. If weather is bad, the speech will be moved to its usual spot, in the House chamber.
When Bryant began his four-year term Jan. 10, a chance of rain forced the inaugural ceremonies inside the Capitol.
If he gets to give his State of the State speech outside, that will provide a chance to use the platform that was built for the inauguration.
Bryant said Associated Builders & Contractors and the Mississippi General Contractors Association "worked so hard on that, dedicated so much time, it's just a shame not to use it," Bryant said Tuesday. "So if the weather's pretty, we're going to go out about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, hopefully we'll light the Capitol up a little bit, it'll be a beautiful night."
Bryant was elected governor in November after serving one term as lieutenant governor. He was state auditor from late 1996 to early 2008.
He said he hopes a large audience will attend the speech if it's outside.
"A lot of people didn't get to come to the inaugural, a lot of people have never seen a State of the State address because it's so close in most chambers," Bryant said. "And so, hopefully, I'd like to open it up and have people that are working downtown or people who are in the metro area or throughout the state of Mississippi come and enjoy hearing the State of the State address."
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