Desoto County News

Remak: What it is like to be a first-term legislator

Photo: From left, Dr. Brian Henry and state Rep. Kimberly Remak after she spoke to the Rotary Club of Olive Branch recently. (Bob Bakken/  

State legislators are between sessions since the 2024 session ended and ahead of the start of the 2025 session in January. For first term legislators, the beginning of the 2024 session marked the start of a new experience; taking their seat in the Chambers of their respective legislative body.  

We will be attempting to contact the first-term legislators representing DeSoto County in the 2024 session, much like we did recently with state Rep. Kimberly Remak (R-Olive Branch) after she spoke to the Rotary Club of Olive Branch. We asked for her impressions of being in the House for the first time as a lawmaker, her goals and thoughts on passing legislation representing their district.

As we hear from the other first-term legislators from DeSoto County, you will see similar articles from them.

Here is our Q and A with state Rep. Kimberly Remak:    

Q. – As a first time legislator, what were your impressions? The first time that you entered the Capitol, entered the House chamber, and you said to yourself, “I’m a lawmaker. I’m actually doing work here.” What were your thoughts about that? 

Remak: I didn’t feel like I was a lawmaker when I first walked in. I was hired to do that job. But after passing a law that goes into effect July 1, I actually feel like I’ve done something now. You know, I feel like I’m fulfilling that role. It’s the most beautiful workplace, you know, to enter. I don’t think there’s ever been a more beautiful workplace than our State Capitol.  

Q. – So did you have any specific goals for your first term or or did you kind of take it easy to get used to the lay of the land first, or how did you approach that first session?

Remak: I mean, I was ever present. There’s no way I could miss a bill, because I’m sitting right in front of the well. I have a front row seat, so I hear every bill that comes out. I had goals, I wanted to pass legislation, and I met that goal. I wanted to represent what I felt like and what I had learned during the campaign season, what those viewpoints were in my district and I pushed my button “yea” or “nay,” according to the way I felt that my district felt.

Q. – Do you have any specific priorities for the next session when you go back?

Remak: You know, we need to continue to work on transportation and the infrastructure. We still need to work on the other phases of I-55 that need to be done. We still have some bridges that need improvement. I worked on asking for appropriations for different projects in DeSoto County, and so I will continue to work on those. But infrastructure is an absolute must for economic development in Mississippi, and we are the northern corridor for Mississippi so that’s very important. Education, we pretty much accomplished that goal. I mean, we’ve had the largest appropriation for education in history. We’ve worked on two economic development deals that are going to continue to move Mississippi forward. So we’ve had some historic wins this session.

Q. – What might have been the most meaningful moment for you in this first session? That you’ll probably think back on pretty easily when you think about the first four months that you spent in Jackson.

Remak: Probably the day that the bill that I wrote ended up passing unanimously in the House. I didn’t know that it was going to come out that day and I knew it was in committee. We as legislators, we can write any deal but we’re not always the person that’s going to be up there introducing that deal. It’s going to be the chairman or the vice chairman, typically. So I didn’t get up there and try to get people to introduce the bill and get people to pass that. Someone else did. So I think probably the first time somebody called that bill up, and it came up, and there was that unanimous vote that was probably a big high knowing. I knew the person that inspired that legislation is one of the people in my district, and I knew it meant a great deal to him.

(Note: The bill being referred to was HB 1378, a measure Remak was principal author in the House, and inspired by World War II veteran K.T. Robbins of Olive Branch. The measure, signed by Gov. Tate Reeves, allows an exemption from all ad valorem taxes on the assessed value of the homestead property to all honorably discharged veterans 90 years old and older.)

Q. – What was it like working with some of the other legislators in Jackson?

Remak: Well, we have a great team so our delegation works well together. And so we, you know, we were just a great team. We talk about it, we go into a little conference and we talk about some things that are coming up and we stick together on those things and I like that camaraderie. I like that teamwork. I’m a team player and I think we can accomplish much when we work together.

Q. – What do you do in the off session now from Sine Die to starting it all over again in January?

Remak: I’m still working on legislation to introduce next session and also going to different groups, updating them about what we’ve done and giving them a summary. I’ve been attending panels, I was at Girls State. Those girls are very smart, very impressive. We did that in Oxford a few weeks ago, and I was on a panel discussion about mental health. So I’m continuing to work in my district. So just because I’m not in Jackson, I’m still busy.