2019 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Michel, Blount, Harkins, Jackson (15th), Clarke, Branning, Blackwell, Bryan, Hopson, Seymour, Moran, Tollison, Gollott, Simmons (13th), Jordan, Massey, Younger, Watson, Chassaniol, Jackson (11th), Caughman, Dearing, Doty, Kirby, Browning, Wiggins, Turner-Ford, Fillingane, Butler, Parks, Witherspoon, McMahan, Barnett, Parker, Whaley, DeBar, Jolly

Senate Concurrent Resolution 641

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, Mississippi Central District Transportation Commissioner, former State Senator and Representative, Dick Hall from Jackson, Mississippi, has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2019.  Commissioner Hall is completing 21 years on the three-member transportation regulatory body.  Mississippians owe Commissioner Hall a debt of gratitude for his service and he is leaving a lasting legacy to the history of our state; and

     WHEREAS, Mississippi Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall is a lifelong Mississippian whose family helped to settle the Mississippi Territory.  After earning a Bachelor's Degree from Mississippi State University, he served as an Officer in the United States Army Field Artillery; and

     WHEREAS, prior to being elected Commissioner, Hall served 24 years in the Mississippi Legislature.  His experience in the Mississippi Legislature was extremely broad-based, serving three terms as a Representative and three terms as a Senator.  In both the House and the Senate, Hall chaired the Environment Committees of each chamber, respectively.  Other chairmanships included the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, the first Republican to occupy this position in over 100 years; and

     WHEREAS, during his time in the Legislature, Dick Hall authored and co-authored many pieces of legislation.  Some of his greatest accomplishments were the passing of the Education Reform Act of 1982, the 1987 Four-Lane Highway Program, the Budget Reform Act of 1992, and the Mental Health Reform Act of 1997; and

     WHEREAS, Dick Hall was appointed Central District Transportation Commissioner by Governor Kirk Fordice in 1999 to fill an unexpired term.  He is now in his fifth full term as Central District Transportation Commissioner, currently serving as Chairman of the three-member Commission.  The Central District covers 22 counties with a population of roughly one million; and

     WHEREAS, during Hall's 21 years as Commissioner, he has seen many accomplishments across the Central District.  Commissioner Hall is known for saying, "We're not just building a transportation system.  We're building an economy.  MDOT allocates approximately $150 Million annually to pavement projects, but Commissioner Hall has suggested that an estimated $1 Billion would be needed to repair pavement to an acceptable condition and $400 Million would be needed annually to maintain pavement in good condition."  In 1987, an election year, business leaders championed a major Four-Lane Highway Program and higher gas taxes to fund the program, passed with support of three-term veteran Representative Dick Hall.  Despite the bad political timing, he joined other conservative legislators behind the leadership of Representative John Pennebaker to not only pass the program, but also to override a veto from Governor Bill Allain; and

     WHEREAS, the State of Mississippi vests oversight of its transportation resources and operations in a three-member-elected Mississippi Transportation Commission representing three geographic areas in the state as defined by the Supreme Court Districts:  Northern, Central and Southern.  The commissioners represent the electorate and have the authority and responsibility for the supervision of all modes of transportation in the state dealing with aeronautics, highways, ports, public transit and railroads.  In accordance with state law, the commission is responsible for planning, developing and coordinating a comprehensive, balanced intermodal transportation policy for the state.  The commission membership appointed its Chairman, Dick Hall.  The commission appoints an Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to carry out the day-to-day policies and procedures of the agency; and

     WHEREAS, despite challenges, Dick Hall has pointed out that Mississippi has the eighth most efficient Department of Transportation among all states, and he commends a substantial number of highway and bridge projects that are in process or complete across the Central Transportation District, such as the addition of lanes on I-55 through portions of Madison and Hinds Counties; and

     WHEREAS, Commissioner Hall has served as President of the Mississippi Republican-Elected Officials Association and as State Chairman of the United Republican Fund.  Other honors have included being the first recipient of the Hugh L. White Free Enterprise Award and Conservation Legislator of the Year, first recipient of the Friend of Education Award, Alumnus of the Year by the Mid-Mississippi Chapter of The Mississippi State University Alumni Association, was honored with the Owen Cooper Memorial Award by the Mississippi Transportation Institute (MTI) at the Owen Cooper Award Luncheon during the 2016 MTI Conference held at the Jackson Convention Center, and won National Significant Sigma Chi of Gamma Upsilon Chapter in 2013.  He is a member of the Multi-State I-69 Coalition and was awarded the National Significant Sigma Chi  Award.  His civic and other memberships include:  YMCA; the Mississippi Symphony; March of Dimes; Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Foundation; and the Jackson Touchdown Club; American Health Works Association; Mississippi Wildlife Federation; National Association of Republican Legislators; and Sigma Chi; and

     WHEREAS, an Elder and former Deacon in the Presbyterian Church, Dick Hall and his wife, Jennifer, live in the Brandon area.  He and Jennifer are members of Lakeside Presbyterian Church.  He is the father of three sons, one stepson and one stepdaughter, and four grandchildren who have supported him in all of his endeavors.  He is active in his community, serving on various boards of directors and volunteering his time for charitable endeavors; and

     WHEREAS, while serving in the Legislature, Senator Hall enlightened debates with his intelligent perspective, and garnered unparalleled respect from both sides of the aisle; and

     WHEREAS, we pay tribute and cherish fondly the service and friendship of our former colleague Dick Hall, and recognize his legacy of infrastructure accountability for this great state that he loved and served:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the public career and recognize the legacy of Central District Transportation Commissioner, former Mississippi Senator and Representative Dick Hall, of Brandon, Mississippi, and wish him and his family success in their future endeavors.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Commissioner Dick Hall and his family, forwarded to the Mississippi Transportation Commission, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Lieutenant Governor, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.