Carmichael said he would like to see the end of inventory taxes, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon.
“Right now we have a lot of our cities and our counties and other entities who depend upon those dollars so we can’t just all of a sudden do without it unless we have a funding source,” Carmichael said.
The senator also touted changes to the Mississippi Worker’s Compensation laws, saying that the Legislature essentially tweaked it, making changes to the pre-existing conditions portions of the law, clarification of payments to attorneys, better definitions and restrictions of employees’ choices of physicians, stronger measures against workforce drug and alcohol use, and a slight increase in benefits.
During a question and answer session with Kiwanians, Carmichael said he didn’t know what the state was going to do with regard to Medicaid as it relates to the Affordable Health Care Act. He said Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has taken some heat for his health care exchange program.
“I think what he’s doing is trying to be ready in case we have to do it because if we keep on with Obamacare as we know it,” Carmichael said, “each state will have to have a health care exchange and if you don’t do it as a state, the feds will come in and do it for you. I don’t think we want them controlling our health care exchange, if we have to have one.”
When asked about the possibility of an Internet sales tax, Carmichael said it has been considered, but no one has come up with a solution yet.
What was a contentious debate during the last legislative session, the issue of charter schools, also prompted questions from the audience.
Carmichael said the Mississippi Senate has passed charter school legislation for five consecutive years, but has not been able to hammer out a compromise with the House of Representatives.
“I think there’s a place for charter schools,” Carmichael said. “Anything that we can do to give parents an opportunity to help to better their children if they’re in a situation in a school that’s not working, to give them another choice.”