State Politics

Gaming Committee chairmanship just one of the changes in Jackson

State Rep. Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, will be named chairman of the House Education Committee Friday morning.

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn is expected to make the announcement at about 9:15 a.m. in Jackson.

Bennett has served in the House for 10 years and for the last several years has chaired the House Gaming Committee. A new chairman will be named for that committee since regulations say a representative can be chairman of only one committee at a time. Bennett served on the Education Committee along with Appropriations, Local and Private Legislation, Management, Public Utilities and Revenue and Expenditure.

Bennett will replace Rep. John Moore, R-Brandon, who resigned late last year after sexual harassment allegations surfaced. A special election will fill his District 60 seat in February.

Bennett will take over the Education Committee as lawmakers grapple with plans to overhaul the state’s school funding formula. The Legislature also is expected to deal with school vouchers and other “school choice” issues.