Bryant, 57, who was lieutenant governor the past four years and started political service in 1991 as a member of the Mississippi House, set tackling multiple major issues as his main agenda:
* "...Our our most important work is making sure that Mississippians have work. ... And there are two sectors we can foster that have incredible promise to bring more jobs to Mississippi over the next decade: energy and health care."
Bryant said "natural gas, bio-fuels, solar power, clean coal technology and tertiary oil recovery are all adding to our position as a leader in the energy economy of the 21st century."
He said Mississippi can create thousands of jobs developing those sources, a statement reflecting independent analyses surfacing in the past year.
* "Mississippi's other potential growth sector for enhancement is health care," he told guests and officials jammed into the House chamber because of inclement weather. He proposed 1,000 more in-state physicians by 2025 and completion of the massive capital renewal of the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus, plus creation of "medical zones" across the state. Health care already is a major employer and income generator; Bryant's proposals could enhance its impact statewide.
* Change discussions about public education from money to "early childhood learning, charter schools, classroom redesign and higher qualifying standards for teachers" and "attack the dropout rate by allowing children to take standard high school classes and workforce learning in community colleges at the same time."
Most importantly, Bryant called for renewed emphasis on learning to read.
"We know a child who cannot read at a standard level by the fourth grade is almost always destined to failure. ... I want every child in Mississippi to be able to read...." about their future.
* He also directly addressed teenage pregnancy and repudiation of the teenage birthrate. We applaud that focus. We believe that more than abstinence education is necessary, and we also support Bryant's proposal to make "identifying teen pregnancy as an activity more devastating than smoking. Friends, we can no longer turn our heads and pretend the problem doesn't exist."
* Bryant also proposed budget process reforms to measure outcomes and then appropriate for success.
Bryant, a former legislator, understands the great distance between first proposal and final passage, but there's potential in the governor's general priorities.