By NATHAN GREGORY
Mississippi Senate Constitution Committee Chair and State Sen. Michael Watson will be featured at the first event in this yearâ€™s Stennis-Capitol Press Forums series Monday at the Capital Club in Jackson.
Sponsored by the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University and the Capitol Press Corps, the forums take place every first and third Monday in February, March and April and once in each remaining month of the year.
The event will mostly be a question-and-answer session and an opportunity to have dialogue between Watson and the Press Corps. Phil Hardwick, Stennis Institute coordinator of capacity development, said he expects Watson to field several questions about pardons former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour made before leaving office earlier this month.
â€śWe wanted to have (Watson) at this time because the clemency issue is a hot topic. Our goal is to have policy makers on a very topical subject as the presenters there and give them the opportunity to say what theyâ€™re going to say but also answer questions from media,â€ť Hardwick said. â€śMost of the people who attend are people who are interested in public policy issues. This is an opportunity to get information firsthand and first. During the legislative session weâ€™ll have statewide officials who are newsmakers at the state level.â€ť
Sen. Watson, R-Pascagoula, joined the Mississippi State Senate in 2008. He serves on several Senate committees, including the Drug Policy Committee, Education Committee and Tourism Committee among others.
The next event in the Stennis-Capitol Press Forums, held Feb. 6, features Miss. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.