2003 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Little, Burton, Frazier, Dearing, Browning, Nunnelee, Dawkins, Gordon, Posey, Thames, Walden, Furniss, Carmichael, Scoper, Farris, Gollott, Lee, Bryan, Williamson, Mettetal, Dickerson, Jackson, Kirby, Hyde-Smith, Chamberlin, Moffatt, Hamilton, Harvey, Tollison, Hewes, Minor, Robertson, Stogner, White, Chaney, King, Smith, Ross, Harden

Senate Concurrent Resolution 510

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, Timothy Alan (Tim) Ford is completing 24 years of outstanding, dedicated service as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives from District 18 (Lee, Prentiss and Pontotoc Counties), and is completing his fourth 4-year term as Speaker of the House; and

     WHEREAS, Speaker Ford is the second longest serving Speaker in Mississippi history (the only man who served longer as Speaker of the House was the late Walter Sillers), and is viewed by colleagues in State Houses around America with a measure of respect and envy for his ability to hold the House together and resist the pressures of partisanship; and

     WHEREAS, Tim Ford grew up in the area around Tupelo, Mississippi, which has for decades been a most progressive part of the state regarding economic development, agriculture and education, and he ably represented the citizens of Lee, Prentiss and Pontotoc Counties by taking a leading role in virtually every meaningful economic development, agriculture and progressive education program in Mississippi during his tenure; and

     WHEREAS, Speaker Ford's tenure, 1988-present, include the following legislative accomplishments for the people of Mississippi:

     --1988:  Increased teachers' across-the-board pay by an average of $2,114.00 annually, plus experience increments;

     --1990:  Authorized riverboat gaming in counties along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast, if approved in local referendums;

     --1992:  Created financial stability and government accountability with the "98 percent" rule limiting annual General Fund spending and establishing a "rainy day" fund;

     --1992:  Education was reaffirmed as a top legislative priority with establishment of the Education Enhancement Fund, hailed as the most important gain for education since the 1982 Education Reform Act;

     --1993:  Established a new intermediate appeals court to assist the Mississippi Supreme Court, and an Administrative Office of Courts to improve the state's judicial system;

     --1994-1995:  Enacted major roads-and-bridges bill to assist cities and counties in reconstruction of deficient bridges and add a fourth phase of highway construction to the 1987 Four-Lane Program;

     --1995:  Salary increases averaging $1,158.00 per year approved for classroom teachers;

     --1997:  Enacted sweeping Welfare Reform Act to implement programs to help AFDC(TANF) recipients through education, job training and work incentives, authorizing income tax credits to employers who hire welfare recipients;

     --1998:  Passed tax break for married couples;

     --1999:  Created Health-Care Trust Fund to invest tobacco litigation monies for long-term funding of major health programs;

     --2000:  Enacted the Mississippi Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP), awarding teachers an 8% pay raise, the largest increase in state history, and a 10% pay raise over a three-year period;

     --2000:  Enacted compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance law;

     --2000:  Enacted National Voter Registration Act or "Motor Voter" allowing persons to register to vote when they get a driver's license;

     --2000:  Appropriated funds toward settling the Ayers desegregation case;

     --2000:  Approved $300 Million incentive package to attract the Nissan Corporation to Mississippi--the state's first automaker;

     --2002:  Continued funding for plan to bring the Mississippi school teacher's salary to Southeastern average;

     --2002:  Resolved budget problems in the Medicaid program;

     --2002:  Strengthened DUI laws and highway safety by lowering blood alcohol content threshold;

     --2002:  Enacted medical malpractice reforms and general civil justice reforms including damage caps and venue revision; and

     WHEREAS, he is recognized nationally, having served as Chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments, President of the National Speakers Conference (1997), and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (2002), is a former Vice Chairman of the Southern Growth Policies Board, and is active in numerous national and regional legislative organizations; and

     WHEREAS, in 2001, Speaker Ford was the recipient of the prestigious "William M. Bulger Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award," presented annually to a leader who makes a significant contribution to the performance, strengthening and operation of their legislative institutions, with the nomination for the award made by lawmakers and state government observers across the nation; and

     WHEREAS, Tim Ford was born on October 22, 1951, in Winter Haven, Florida; is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and Ole Miss Law School; and as Speaker, he serves on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Joint Committee on the Compilation of the Code, alternating on a yearly basis as chairman of both joint panels; and

     WHEREAS, Speaker Ford has been praised for leading the Mississippi House with vision, strength and leadership, particularly for his lead in campaigning against a statewide term-limits referendum, where the measure's two defeats were widely seen as signaling the issue's waning national appeal; and

     WHEREAS, as presiding officer of the House of Representatives, Tim Ford has provided firm, effective and constructive leadership coupled with a keen understanding of the issues facing Mississippi and a passion about the Legislature as an institution to where the Legislature is stronger when he leaves than it was when he arrived; and

     WHEREAS, Speaker Ford has indicated that he will retire at the expiration of his present term, in order to spend time with his sons, Ken and Sam, and to devote more time to the practice of law; and

     WHEREAS, the members of this Legislature wish to express sincere appreciation to Mr. Speaker for his many outstanding accomplishments and record of dedicated public service:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend our friend, colleague and leader, Tim Ford, for all that he has meant to the Mississippi Legislature and his unmatched contributions to the people of the State of Mississippi.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Speaker Tim Ford and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.