New fiscal year begins for Mississippi

 

CLARION LEDGER – Analysis: Howard Sherman backs Democrats after pain of Senate loss


“From the beginning, it was a square peg in a round hole,” Sherman said. “I thought the state was ready for something different. I thought the state was tired of being 50th. But they voted for a shepherd of 50th.”

Sherman seemed to think better of his initial sour reaction. He told the AP in a second phone call Tuesday night that “I still absolutely want to see Democrats win both seats in November,” referring not only to Baria’s race against Wicker, but also to former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy’s bid in a special election where he will face Republicans Cindy Hyde-Smith and McDaniel. Gov. Phil Bryant elevated Hyde-Smith from state agriculture commissioner to U.S. senator in April when he appointed her to fill the vacancy after Cochran retired.

On Wednesday, Sherman sent a mass email saying he would support Democrats this year and in the future and urged supporters to “donate to the state party now.”

It’s unclear how Democrats will regard Sherman in the future, or if he will have any interest in running for office again. But it’s easy to imagine a scenario where Sherman is steaming toward an intriguing general election as the Democratic nominee for a different office.

WLOX – Sunday Night Extra: Mike Espy

WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi

#MS04: Democrat Anderson campaigns at PrideFest in Biloxi

 

CLARION LEDGER – Jeb Bush: Mississippi schools are getting results

What is the secret behind Mississippi’s dramatic turnaround?

The state replaced academic standards, once regarded as some of the weakest in the country, with rigorous standards designed to prepare students for college or a meaningful career.

In 2013, under the leadership of Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Speaker Philip Gunn, lawmakers passed the landmark Education Works program that was implemented by State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright. It was a bold and broad-based package that included: a focus on early-grade literacy; common sense accountability measures, including a transparent A-F grading system for schools; incentives for top students to go into teaching; and the expansion of public charter schools, particularly in areas with low-performing traditional schools.

Education Works is working. And the word is getting out. In 2016, the Education Commission of the States awarded Mississippi the prestigious Frank Newman Award for State Innovation.

MBJ – Bill Crawford: Could tariffs, special election cause November surprises?

The special election to fill the Senate seat relinquished by Thad Cochran could possibly yield surprises. If Chris McDaniel follows his 2014 blueprint, his challenge to newly appointed Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will be down and dirty. Will that fight bring out GOP voters or hold down turnout? If polls show either candidate with a substantial lead, the other’s voters could stay home. Meanwhile, challenger Mike Espy could attract a surge in Democratic voters. Should these two happen together, surprises could occur. 
 

Don’t bet on it, but surprises could happen if one or more Mississippi relevant issues erupt. One of those issues could be tariffs…

…Toyota Mississippi said, “The administration’s decision to impose substantial steel and aluminum tariffs will adversely impact automakers.”
 
As tariffs spread to impact jobs and income in Mississippi, voters will likely take heed. 
 
The potential for November election surprises is there. We’ll have to wait and watch to see if that potential is realized. 

HATTIESBURG AMERICAN – No more penalties for ‘vagrants’ and ‘tramps’ on Sunday; possible penalty for left lane driving

The vagrants and tramps legislation removes penalties from archaic Mississippi laws, which refer to the homeless as “vagrants” and “tramps.”…

…The new left lane law prohibits slower driving vehicles in the left lane of roadways with two or more lanes in the same direction…

…Injured K-9 dogs can be transported by emergency medical technicians. The bill will allow the dogs injured in the line of duty to be transported by ambulance to a pet hospital or veterinarian if no human needs to be transported…

…Pharmacists can tell patients the cheapest way to pay for their prescriptions — and whether their copay is more expensive than the cash price of a drug — under a law passed this session. The law, passed and signed without much notice, makes the insurance companies’ “gag clause” on pharmacies unenforceable.

WJTV – Over 100 people gathered at Governor’s Mansion to protest President Trump’s immigration policy

WJTV – Veteran lawmaker Sara Thomas retires

Veteran lawmaker Sara Richardson Thomas (D-31) handed in her resignation letter to Speaker of the House Philip Gunn Friday.

Thomas, who represents parts of Bolivar, Humphreys, Sunflower and Washington counties, says after twenty-one years in office she believes it is time to hand the responsibility of leadership down to the next generation. She served most recently as Vice-Chair of the Tourism Committee and also sits on the Agriculture, Education and Ethics Committees.

In an impassioned letter, Thomas thanked the House for the opportunity to serve and gave her farewell remarks regarding the importance of public service.

DAILY JOURNAL – Agencies will have to spend $100 million more on pensions

Public agencies in Mississippi will have to contribute another $100 million toward worker pensions beginning July 1, 2019, after a vote by the state Public Employees Retirement System’s board.

Citing projected shortfalls, the board voted Tuesday to increase the share of a worker’s salary that an employer must give from 15.75 percent to 17.4 percent.

Workers will continue contributing 9 percent of their own paychecks.

WDAM – Brad Dye, longtime Mississippi lieutenant governor, dies at 84

Brad Dye, who was lieutenant governor longer than anyone else in Mississippi history, died Sunday at age 84 from respiratory failure.

His son, Dr. Ford Dye, says his father died at a hospice in Ridgeland.

“Brad Dye is one of the most complete public servants I ever served with,” said former House Speaker Billy McCoy. “He gave his very best.”

Gov. Bryant memorializes Paul Ott