Auditor releases what he thinks should be prioritized during legislative session

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With less than one month remaining until the start of the 2024 legislative session, the newly reelected State Auditor Shad White has released his top priorities going into the upcoming year.

During his first four years in office, White played a vital role in putting a stop to the largest public fraud scheme in state history while recovering a record amount of misspent taxpayer money.

Now, the State Auditor is looking to create legislation titled “The Whistleblower Reward Act,” which allows private citizens to come forward with information about corruption or theft of taxpayer funds and receive a portion of what is recovered if an arrest is made.

According to White, the law will be similar to federal whistleblower reward statutes.

“In my time as auditor, my team and I have successfully asked lawmakers to make it harder for a court to wipe someone’s record clean when they steal taxpayer money, give investigators more time to identify fraud under the statute of limitations, and require state agencies to report suspected fraud to us,” White explained. “These were important changes in the law. Now we’re going to work together to make our laws even stronger in our fight against corruption.”

White has also released plans to advocate for the passing of the following pieces of legislation:

  • Strengthening the Open Meetings Act. If a group of people in government holds an illegal secret meeting, this change to the law would state that the decision they make in that meeting is null and void.
  • Free community college for graduates of the high school military program, JROTC. According to White, data shows JROTC participants in Jackson, for instance, had an almost 100% graduation rate, compared to the Jackson Public School average graduation rate of 75.1%. White claims that free community college would encourage students to join JROTC.
  • Creating a study committee to change how the state funds universities. White believes taxpayer money should go to degrees that fit Mississippi’s economy and that degrees that do not fit the economy should be paid for by private donations or tuition. This bill would create a team of economists and workforce experts to recommend changes to how taxpayer money is appropriated to Mississippi public universities.

“These are all common sense, conservative ideas,” White added. “Call your local legislator and the Lt. Governor’s office and tell them you support Shad White’s conservative legislative agenda for 2024!”

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