Democrat Howard Sherman’s 100 DAY PLAN
Mississippi is due for a change. And the time for talk is over. You’ve seen what the career politicians have accomplished for us – effort without result.
I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do.
My opponents in the US Senate race tell voters nothing more than “experienced legislators” is what we need. There are no new ideas. No thought-out plans. Nothing to give us hope. What we need are ideas, strategy, execution and out-of-the-box thinking from leaders who can actually make things happen instead of just talking about them.
Ideas to fix healthcare, education, jobs, infrastructure, prison/criminal justice reform, and our kids.
It’s time. Let’s break the mold and boldly go forward. Read not my promise, but my plan, then cast your vote for Howard Sherman. Try something new and together we can give us our best chance for a win in November!
Howard Sherman’s 100 Day Plan To Fix HEALTHCARE
WHERE WE ARE: Community health clinics and hospitals are closing, state-of-the-art technologies are not being utilized to drive down costs and increase patient care, 130,000 Mississippians are uninsured and the state missed out on millions in tax dollars and well-paying jobs, and state regulations exist that drive up insurance premiums.
1. Increase Access to Community Health & Urgent Care Clinics. Clear federal policy hurdles that discourage use of and access to community health clinics and urgent care facilities to unclog hospital operating rooms and direct patients to where they can be treated in a less costly manner.
2. Implement Medical Technologies to Decrease Costs and Improve Patient Care.
a. Telemedicine. Provide patients with remote access to their doctors using their cell-phone. No office visit, no wait for an exam room and no exposure to other patients.
b. Low Cost Diagnostic Testing. Implement state-of-the-art remote diagnostic testing devices like “Healthcubed” and “Revelar” that are being used in third world countries where cost and accessibility are the keys.
c. Medical Tourism. Promote Mississippi as a destination for certain medical procedures whose cost is dramatically below nearby states as a result of employing economies of scale on existing equipment already owned by the hospital (thus avoiding the need for an additional “Certificate of Need”). The result will be a boom in jobs and hotel, restaurant, and retail revenue.
3. Competition Between Insurance Companies. Create uniform national standards and regulations to encourage more insurance companies offering coverage and lower premiums in Mississippi
4. Medicaid Expansion. Create a federal program to assist those who have fallen into the “Medicaid Gap”.
Howard Sherman’s 100 Day Plan To GENERATE JOBS
WHERE WE ARE: Only a few communities are successfully attracting new companies that bring with them new jobs. While the state’s overall unemployment rate is only slightly above the national average, the best insurance against a downturn is a robust expansion of the industrial and business base. In addition, the unemployment rate in The Delta is 7%, almost double the national average not counting those who have stopped seeking employment.
WHAT I’LL DO: My business ideas, strategies and experience from a life-long career of starting and building businesses provides the knowledge to properly use tax incentives and other policies to attract business in a way that is beneficial not just to the business itself, but to the entire state. My plan...
1. Jobs In The Delta: My “Farm to Table” Initiative. I’m already in discussions with a corn chip company (1,000 jobs) to open a factory on the edge of a Delta cornfield, creating a “Farm to Table” branding opportunity “Our chips go from field to the bag in 48 hours!” No legislation, nor earmark is required – just common sense, a playbook, creativity, experience, and a rolodex.
2. Medical Tourism. As outlined in yesterday’s healthcare e-mail, Medical Tourism’s specialized low-cost procedures and diagnostic testing will attract “medical tourists” from all over the U.S. who seek health care solutions at a fraction of the cost. In addition to hospital jobs, there will be a boom in hotel, restaurant, and retail jobs.
3. Private-Public Vocational Training Initiative. Specialized vocational training will be part of the package offered businesses to locate in Mississippi. Private/public sources of funding will be used to cover the associated costs.
4. Keeping Mississippi Intellectual Capital in Mississippi. In order to keep our young people and college graduates home, we will support an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and “out of the box” thinking. Leading the way, we have already launched www.ideavillagems.org – a website designed and dedicated to doing just that.
Howard Sherman’s 100 Day Plan To Fix EDUCATION
1. Promote a Mandated Federal Student Bill of Rights that includes:
a. Every student’s right to learn in a safe, secure, and well-maintained learning environment.
b. Every student’s right to attend a school that receives adequate funding to operate each and every year.
c. Every student’s right to books & supplies as required by the curriculum.
d. Every student’s right to be taught by well-paid, fully qualified and motivated teachers who receive the support for professional development and exposure to best practices teaching techniques and methodologies they desire.
e. Every student’s right to fresh and healthy food.
f. Every student’s right to receive college prep, vocational, and trade school counseling.
g. Every student’s right to freedom of expression, exchange of ideas, and a bias/bully free environment.
h. Every student’s right to adaptable curriculums and teaching approaches that take into account the particular student’s learning style.
i. Every student’s right to participate in non-academic activities such as sports, arts and industrial arts.
j. Every student’s right to two-way communication between a parent or guardian and the teacher/school that includes regular updates on progress, challenges, opportunities and suggestions.
2. Incorporate Digital Technologies. Support federal policy and grants to encourage incorporation of various digital technologies, including digital textbooks that better individualize learning, online courses, online resources, and interactive opportunities. To augment math skills outside the classroom, I am launching my Mississippi Math APP that brings extra math learning to where our kids live – on their cell-phones.
3. Teach our Kids Mindfulness Techniques. Support federal policy and grants for student development of techniques to get centered, be more resilient, handle stress, and overcome challenges.
Howard Sherman’s 100 Day Plan to Fix INFRASTRUCTURE
WHERE WE ARE: There are currently 526 bridges across Mississippi that are closed. Potholes number in the thousands and the existing internet capabilities in some areas are poor at best. According to a June 2017 report, drivers in Jackson pay approximately $2,000 in extra transportation costs annually as a result of poor road conditions. This equates to a loss of 2.9 billion dollars for Mississippi motorists.
WHAT I’LL DO: Lead a multi-prong attack on the problem, seeking funding, cost-savings, and creative solutions from a variety of conventional and unconventional sources to reduce out-of-pocket infrastructure expenditures. My plan…
1. Federal Money. Aggressively find federal transportation and redevelopment dollars to fix what ails our infrastructure.
2. Federal Policy. Push to eliminate counterproductive federal policies like the requirement that Mississippi municipalities must use a Pennsylvania firm to inspect its bridges (they charge dramatically more than Mississippi firms) rather than a local engineer/inspector.
3. Bid Process Alternatives. Make greater use of reverse auctions and/or blind bids and/or federal guideline pricing and/or standardized “bulk” state pricing to drive down costs for infrastructure inspections, engineering, repair, and construction. Depending upon the situation and the people bidding, one or more of these processes can reduce costs dramatically as competing firms will be forced to put forth their absolute best price.
4. Economies of Scale. Make greater use of combining funded and approved infrastructure projects involving multiple municipalities and then submitting to one or more of the various bid processes described above so that inspection, engineering, equipment, and construction firms can provide even more competitive pricing because the size of the projects will be collectively much larger.
5. Public-Private Partnerships. Partner with local and national businesses to fund the state/county portion of the repair costs and in turn offer “appreciation signs” that will engender goodwill from the community. I have already submitted some of the worst pot holes to Domino’s Pizza as a part of their “Paving For Pizza” project. In addition, I have made a deal with a Mississippi sign company to provide the signage at cost.
6. Federal Fiber Grants to Make Mississippi the First “1 Gig” State. Currently only a small portion of Mississippians have access to the highest internet speeds available in other states (some have no access to internet). Focus will be directed to federal grants for Mississippi power company/internet providers to run fiber throughout the state with the goal of becoming the first “1 gig state”.
Howard Sherman’s 100 Day Plan For
PRISON & CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
WHERE WE ARE: Prison sentencing is frequently not consistent, alternatives to incarceration are not being aggressively explored, drug problems that could be headed off with treatment frequently become criminal offenses and full use of technology is not being deployed by police officers.
WHAT I’LL DO: My plan...
1. Sentencing Reform. Encourage policies that require judges to dole out sentences that are consistent for all individuals convicted regardless of race and color.
2. Electronic Monitoring Systems. There are convicted criminals who should never get out of prison. Period, the end. But for some, sentencing is neither fair nor effective. We can promote and encourage greater use of alternatives to prison for non-violent offenders such as rehabilitation, electronic monitoring devices, etc. so that such individuals can live at home and work productively rather than sit in prison.
3. Prisoner Employment Opportunities. Emulate what is being done at the Beaumont Federal Prison where a factory is being operated within a prison to provide opportunities for real world experiences while behind bars.
4. Greater Use of Currently Available Technologies by Police Officers. The job done by police officers can be streamlined and disputes more easily dealt with by employing greater use of currently available technologies such as body cams and iPad-like devices to streamline data input and two-way communications with the precinct so time spent doing paperwork is minimized and time spent in the field is maximized.
5. Promote Diversity Dialogue and Sensitivity Programs. With communicative and sensitive dialogue, we can create potential problem resolution before they become problems.
Howard Sherman’s 100 Day Plan To
PROTECT OUR KIDS
WHERE WE ARE: “H.B. 2179,” passed by the state legislature in Jackson with the support of both of my career legislator opponents, would have cost Mississippi’s kids (mental health, social workers, foster care, etc.) over $50 million in DHS federal matching funding had it not been discovered well into the most recent fiscal year. This in turn would have put us in breach of the Olivia Y lawsuit where the state was sued for poorly caring for its own kids, paving the way for the federal government to step in and be in charge of the care of Mississippi’s most vulnerable children.
The “Family First Prevention Services Act” became a law in Washington D.C. in February 2018 with the support of Mississippi’s own Senator Roger Wicker. This piece of legislation increases funds for prevention services to children and families at risk of entering the foster care system. However, it takes those funds from services being provided to the 6,000+ children currently in Mississippi’s foster care system. In its current form and without costly modifications, the legislation will result in the closure of every state-funded, non-profit children’s home in the state of Mississippi. When representatives of the state’s children’s homes went to Washington D.C. to plead with Wicker to avert disaster for our kids, he didn’t show up for the meeting.
WHAT I’LL DO: We have a sacred obligation to protect our kids, period. Any and all legislators or legislation that in any way can do harm to the 6,000+ kids who have, through no fault of their own, been removed from their homes for their own safety will be fought on all fronts. Facilities like Hope Village for Children in Meridian that Sela and I founded 18 years ago are an integral part of the solution and cannot be on the chopping block, regardless. My plan...
1. Public Policy (Childrens’ Homes). All public policies that do not encourage the prudent use of group homes to provide needed services for kids who can’t be placed in a foster or adoptive home or who need time to be evaluated, stabilized, and matched to a family will be fought.
2. Public Policy (Child Evaluation). I will push for a change in federal policy to allow for a child to be evaluated in a group home for up to 30 days without it being counted against the state as a “move.” When a child is removed from a difficult and traumatic home situation, there is an extensive protocol that needs to be followed so a complete evaluation and assessment can take place, the child can be stabilized, and the best possible foster family can be found.
3. Funding. The Olivia Y lawsuit settlement requires a minimum level of services, social workers, etc. dedicated to our kids. I will fight to ensure that the State provides and has access to as much federal funding as possible so that it can satisfy the terms of the settlement and properly care for our kids with minimum tax imposition on state taxpayers.