October 20, 2005
Letters to the Editor
I want to thank Rev. McMillan for correcting me about the error he said I made about Rev. Ingraham’s death.
I appreciate anyone letting me know of errors that pop up in this vast historical background that we have.
I’m far from perfect, so please, when I make mistakes, let me know so they can be corrected.
Thank you, Bruce!
The recently completed special session of the Mississippi Legislature faced many problems resulting from Hurricane Katrina. One important issue was the future of the Tidelands program.
The Tidelands program is funded by leases to businesses located on state-owned public property over the water. In the past 15 years, tidelands leases have brought in more than $60 million, which is spent on public access projects to improve the Gulf Coast. Tidelands projects enhance the quality of life on the Gulf Coast for our citizens and for tourists visiting Mississippi.
Most of the money in the Tidelands program has come from leases to casinos. With proposed changes in state law to allow casinos to move on land, the future of the program was very much in doubt. Some argued that casinos which move on land should no longer be required to pay into this important program. The effect of that argument would have been a windfall for land-based casinos and the gutting of the Tidelands program.
The Coast needs the Tidelands Fund now more than ever. Fortunately, the Senate and the House of Representatives were able to agree on a bill that saves the Tidelands Fund and requires all casinos to pay into the Tidelands Fund whether they are on land or over water.
The new Tidelands leasing law will be good for the Gulf Coast. We owe our thanks to those who worked hard on the bill to save the Tidelands program, at times in the face of serious opposition.
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