AP NEWS

The Latest: Burton resigns as Mississippi Senate pro tem

January 8, 2019
1 of 3
Devon Davis, a porter with the Mississippi State Senate, dusts one of the assigned desks on the chamber floor, a final time on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., as the legislative staffs work at readying the building for Tuesday's start of the 2019 Mississippi Legislature. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on the beginning of the 2019 session of the Mississippi Legislature (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

The president pro tempore of the Mississippi Senate is resigning his leadership role, weeks after being charged with second-offense drunken driving.

Republican Terry Burton of Newton announced his decision in a speech to colleagues Tuesday, moments after the beginning of the 2019 legislative session.

Burton says he will remain in the 52-member Senate this year but will not seek another four-year term in office.

His resignation as president pro tempore is effective at midnight Tuesday. Senators will choose another of their colleagues to be second in command, behind Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.

____

12:10 p.m.

Mississippi legislators have started their 2019 session.

They are set to be at the Capitol for three months, and most are expected to seek re-election this year. A few are retiring, and some are running for other offices.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is proposing a teacher pay raise. House and Senate leaders say they also would like to consider raises for state employees. Most budget decisions will be made in late March or early April.

Both chambers face leadership questions. The Senate president pro tempore, Republican Terry Burton of Newton, and the House speaker pro tempore, Republican Greg Snowden of Meridian, has each faced a drunken driving charge.

The House Ethics Committee could look at Snowden’s case. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has urged Burton to relinquish the leadership post.

____

5:29 a.m.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is proposing a teacher pay raise as Mississippi legislators begin their three-month session.

House and Senate leaders say they also would like to consider raises for state employees. But, it will be late March or early April before budget decisions are made.

Legislators convene at noon Tuesday and face leadership questions. The Senate president pro tempore, Republican Terry Burton of Newton, and the House speaker pro tempore, Republican Greg Snowden of Meridian, has each faced a drunken driving charge.

Snowden pleaded no contest and entered a diversion program without a conviction. Speaker Philip Gunn says the Ethics Committee could look at Snowden’s leadership post.

Burton was arrested Dec. 19 in Starkville, and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has urged him to step down as pro tem.

AP RADIO
Update hourly