A State Leader for Education
Supporting public education is the best investment Mississippi can make in its future. As Vice Chairman of the Education Committee, Senator Blount is a leader for quality public education in Mississippi. He helped write and pass the largest teacher pay raise in state history and the Winter-Reed teacher loan repayment program to help new teachers pay off their college loans. He supports the work of The Parents’ Campaign, the state’s leading organization promoting quality public schools for all children. As a member of the Universities & Colleges Committee and as past Chairman of the Public Property Committee, he works to ensure the facilities needs of universities and community colleges are met for current and future students.
Protecting & Expanding the Right to Vote
David is the lead author of the Mississippi Armed Forces Absentee Voting Act, signed into law by Gov. Haley Barbour in 2010. He has served on the Elections & Redistricting Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures and as one of two legislators in the nation on the advisory board of the federal Election Assistance Commission. He has sponsored legislation to increase voter registration, allow early voting, and streamline the absentee voting process for college students.
David has been a leading proponent of the recently complete four-laning of I-55 South in South Jackson and Byram. He was a lead negotiator in passing the Capitol Complex Improvement District, which will direct more than $200 million to the City of Jackson to improve public infrastructure. Because of seniority and experience, he has secured almost $1 million for Byram infrastructure projects (bridges and flood prevention). He also supported recently passed legislation to direct an additional $4 million a year to Jackson, $335,000 a year to Byram and $47,000 a year to Terry from internet sales taxes (with no tax increase) for infrastructure.
Safeguarding Retirement & Civil Service
The Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) provides a secure retirement for state, county, and city employees, including teachers, law enforcement officers, and fire fighters. These employees contribute to the retirement plan every pay period.
David believes we must protect the integrity of our retirement system and honor the commitments we have made. This promise includes protecting the cost-of-living adjustments that are needed. David opposes the idea, backed by some, to shift our stable retirement system to a 401K style system that ties benefits to risky investment decisions and the ups and downs of the stock market.
David strongly supports the civil service protections of the State Personnel Board. Public employees should not be subject to partisan politics. Senator Blount has been an outspoken leader for state workers and against the return of the "spoils system" in state government. He is a longtime member of the MASE-CWA (Mississippi Alliance of State Employees) Local 3570.
Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence
Senator Blount has written and helped pass laws to protect victims of domestic violence. These measures prohibit insurance companies from using domestic violence as a pre-existing condition (as has happened in other states), add children to the state's domestic violence statute and impose tougher penalties, improve protection orders, and completely re-write Mississippi's stalking laws. David served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Senator Blount received the President's Award from the Mississippi Press Association for his work on behalf of open government in our state. He authored the new law that reduces the waiting time for citizens to obtain public records - basic information on your government - and to provide a single website for all public meetings. He was a lead negotiator in passing campaign finance reform, including prohibiting elected officials from converting campaign funds for personal use.
David wrote a law to increase disclosure and competition for state agencies leasing private office space and a law to reduce duplication and increase efficiency in state computer operations.
In all special sessions held during legislative regular sessions, David does not accept extra special session pay, donating the money to support efforts to improve public schools in Hinds County.