Home     MS House Video Feed     MS Senate Video Feed    
Wicker, Durbin Say Next Amtrak CEO Should Continue Commitment to National System

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., today issued a letter to Anthony M. Coscia, Chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors, requesting that the next Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) demonstrate commitment to a unified national passenger rail system.

“Numerous states – including Mississippi – rely on Amtrak’s rail service,” Wicker said. “Our nation’s passenger rail system serves as a vital part of our overall transportation structure and our economy. In order to ensure the growth and health of the system, it is essential that Amtrak’s next leader have significant experience and a broad understanding of all three lines of passenger rail service.”

“Illinois rail lines are at the center of our national transportation network. Maintain, modernizing and expanding this network is vital to our state,” said Durbin. “Amtrak has made great progress under Joe Boardman’s leadership and passenger rail in Illinois has expanded rapidly giving more and more residents a safe, affordable option when travelling. The next CEO of Amtrak must understand the importance of nationwide investments in our passenger rail system.”

The letter, sent in light of current Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman’s retirement announcement, reads in part: “With the announcement of Boardman’s retirement, it is important that the Board of Directors makes certain that his successor possesses a deep understanding of and support for all three of Amtrak’s lines of service – state-supported, long-distance, and the Northeast Corridor. … Should the next CEO of Amtrak fail to possess a working knowledge of and experience with the system, the positive steps that you have taken to stimulate growth in rail ridership will be put at risk, making it more challenging for Congress to support funding for Amtrak.”

The full text of the letter follows:

Mr. Anthony M. Coscia
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Amtrak
60 Massachusetts Ave, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Dear Mr. Coscia:

We are writing to express our interest in seeing that the next Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is someone whose resume includes significant relevant professional experience and a proven commitment to a unified national passenger rail system.

Through our collective leadership on multi-year passenger rail authorizations and annual appropriations, we are committed to the national passenger rail system and are working collaboratively to improve Amtrak’s service. Many of our states pay all capital and operating support for state-supported trains and are planning for improved or expanded service in the coming years. Our residents and economies in communities large and small, rural and urban, rely on Amtrak service. This service provides greater accessibility to balance the need to attract and retain the bright young minds of tomorrow’s workforce and provide transportation options for the growing senior population entering retirement market. For many of our citizens, Amtrak represents the only option for travel beyond the automobile.

We appreciate current President and CEO Joseph Boardman’s commitment to the national network. With the announcement of Boardman’s retirement, it is important that the Board of Directors makes certain that his successor possesses a deep understanding of and support for all three of Amtrak’s lines of service – state-supported, long-distance, and the Northeast Corridor. The health of the entire system is critical for maintaining and improving a passenger rail network. Should the next CEO of Amtrak fail to possess a working knowledge of and experience with the system, the positive steps that you have taken to stimulate growth in rail ridership will be put at risk, making it more challenging for Congress to support funding for Amtrak.

For these reasons, we respectfully request that the next Amtrak President and CEO be someone with a demonstrated commitment to a unified national passenger rail system.


2/11/16

Posted February 12, 2016 - 10:56 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Officials react to New Hampshire primary




Rickey Cole, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party, said in an email Trump will be strong in both South Carolina and Nevada, while the Democrats will be jockeying for advantage in both states.

He said the next steps in Sanders’s and Clinton’s campaign should be to “keep talking about the issues and continue showing the voters that Democrats offer a better path toward the future than any of the Republicans.”...


...Joe Nosef, chairman of the Mississippi Republican party, said in an email even though many people were picking Trump to win the New Hampshire primary, few were picking Kasich to finish second.

“Unlike the Democrat primary, however, where your choices are between a liberal and a socialist, our Republican primary offers a variety of choices with a dynamic group of candidates that can appeal to a variety of conservatives,” Nosef said.



Daily Journal
2/11/16



Posted February 12, 2016 - 6:39 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Justice Beam takes oath of office for Supreme Court


JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Dawn H. Beam of Sumrall will be sworn in at 9 a.m. February 16, as the newest member of the state's highest court.

She will take the oath of office in the En Banc Courtroom at the Mississippi Supreme Court in Jackson. Chief Justice Bill Waller, Jr. will administer the oath of office.

Governor Phil Bryant appointed Justice Beam to fill the unexpired term of Justice Randy Pierce, who became director of the Mississippi Judicial College on February 1.



WLOX
2/11/16



Posted February 12, 2016 - 6:34 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE;


Palazzo Praises 22nd Amendment

Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4) released a statement today regarding the release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request:

“The president has sent over yet another reckless budget that squanders the taxpayers’ dollars toward items on his liberal agenda. Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise from a president who has continued to put politics before people for seven years now. Fortunately, thanks to the 22nd Amendment this will be the last of this president’s irresponsible budgets.

“That said, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee I look forward to taking our country’s financial situation seriously and producing realistic proposals that fit our budgetary constraints, provide for a strong national defense and benefit hard-working Americans.”


2/10/16

Posted February 12, 2016 - 6:31 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Senate Votes to Bar Gov’t From Taxing the Internet

Wicker Supports Measure to Extend Online Tax Freedom Permanently



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today said that Congress’s permanent extension of the “Internet Tax Freedom Act” is a major win for American families and businesses. The law, which was first passed in 1998, bars federal, state, and local governments from charging excise taxes to go online. It has been temporarily reauthorized eight times in the past 18 years.



“Americans should not be taxed for accessing the Internet,” Wicker said. “Initially enacted in 1998 to facilitate use by consumers and open the technology to commerce, the ‘Internet Tax Freedom’ law has helped online access become an integral part of economic growth, job creation, education, and information-sharing.”



The “Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act,” cosponsored by Wicker, is contained in the bipartisan “Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015,” H.R. 644, also known as the Customs Bill. The underlying legislation would modernize and promote legitimate trade, improve enforcement, and strengthen Trade Promotion Authority. The measure now awaits President Obama’s signature to become law.


2/11/16

Posted February 12, 2016 - 6:25 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





House WFP chair files bill to increase license fees



House Bill No. 1151, introduced by House Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Committee chairman Scott Bounds, R-Philadelphia, would raise the price of a resident Sportsman's License from the current $32 to $50. The resident All Game license would be raised from $17 to $34. The resident freshwater fishing and small game hunting combination license would be raised from $8 to $10. The current prices of those licenses were set in the early 1990s.




ClarionLedger
2/11/16



Posted February 12, 2016 - 6:21 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Bill would allow taxpayers to haggle with state


The House has unanimously approved a bill that would allow the state Department of Revenue to reach compromises with taxpayers on what they owe like the Internal Revenue Service does with federal taxes.

"Section 100 of the state constitution actually precludes any offer of compromise on state taxes unless it is a quote 'doubtful claim,'" said Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Smith, R-Columbus. "The department has talked about it for years, but it doesn't have the authority. They can work with people on interest and stuff, but not on the principal, even if you feel it's inaccurate. This is something whose time has come."



ClarionLedger
2/11/16



Posted February 12, 2016 - 6:17 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Senate approves appointed school superintendents




Senators voting against the bill:

Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R-Picayune

Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville

Sen. J.P. Wilemon, Jr., R-Belmont

Sen. Chris Massey, R-Nesbit

Sen. Barbara Blackmon, D-Canton

Sen. Nickey Browning, R-Pontotoc

Sen. Bill Stone, D-Holly Springs

Sen. Russell Jolly, D-Houston



ClarionLedger
2/11/16



Posted February 12, 2016 - 6:13 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.






Mississippi House of Representatives Weekly Summary

Week of February 8, 2016

At the beginning of the week, Governor Bryant signed into law the economic package that the House and Senate passed last week during the Special Session.

The Continental Tire project would be a $1.45 billion company investment, bringing 2,500 jobs to the Central Mississippi area. The project with Edison Chouest Offshore, Topship, would be a $68 million company investment, slated to bring 1,000 jobs to the Port of Gulfport.

Midnight on Monday, February 8, was the filing deadline for all general bills and constitutional amendments to be submitted to the Clerk’s Office. Attorneys for the House drafted 2,046 requests, which include resolutions, general bills and bills that never get dropped in or filed. They are still drafting bills for revenue committees, Appropriations, Local and Private and numerous resolutions and proclamations that have yet to be requested. By the time of this report, 1,419 pieces of legislation had been introduced so far.
Many committees, therefore, began conducting full committee meetings.

The Appropriations Committee hears from major state agencies each year as they bring forth their requests for the next budget cycle. Several agencies presented their budget requests this week.

Members from the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), Mississippi’s Community and Junior Colleges and the Mississippi Institutions for Higher Learning (IHL) made their Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget requests.

MDE’s priorities remain fairly unchanged this year. They’d like to see all students proficient and showing growth in assessed areas, while having the ultimate goal of graduating all students college and career ready. Furthermore, MDE would like to see every child have access to a high-quality early childhood program, every school have effective teachers and leaders and every community effectively using a world-class data system to improve student outcomes. MDE requested an 8.54 percent increase over FY 2016 funding.

Mississippi’s Community and Junior Colleges system ranks number one in the nation. Representatives from the agency emphasized the importance of the community and junior college system to the workforce development of the State. They reminded Appropriations members of the 40,000 job vacancies at the start of 2016 that are a direct result of the widening skill gap among Mississippians of working age. Their request comes in around $82 million and would go toward keeping tuition costs down, offering competitive salaries for faculty and expanding technical programs.

IHL representatives reported many positive features of the agency as they broke down their budget request of $17 million. In 2015, 16,813 degrees were awarded, the largest number yet. The system has approximately 93,833 students, with 72.4 percent Mississippians. The agency maintains eight main university campuses, the University of Mississippi Medical center and 17 satellite centers.

During the Mississippi Department of Corrections presentation, Commissioner Marshall Fisher highlighted his goals for the agency. Realigning the organization is one of his main interests. He stressed his concerns about employee retention. The agency sees a high turnover rate due to the very low salaries and the dangers associated with the positions. He believes a livable wage would go a long way to improve moral. He remarked that since last appearing before the committee in September, they now have approximately 200 fewer employees. He requested $374 million, which is the same request as last year, for the agency that would go toward security enhancements, infrastructure repairs, realignment of salaries, food costs and debt services.

Judiciary B passed several bills out of committee, including House Bill 786 that creates the Mississippi Church Protection Act. This bill was crafted as a direct result of the tragedy that occurred in a South Carolina church during the summer of 2015. This law gives the option, not a mandate, that the governing body of a church or place of worship (as defined in the Mississippi tax code) may establish a security program in which designated members may carry firearms to protect the congregation. Enactment of this measure would allow those members the same protection as the Castle Doctrine.

Activity on the House floor picked up speed, as well.

House Bill 112 permits that when Mississippi has a national disaster, credentialed medical responders, who come to Mississippi to assist, will be covered under workers’ compensation and death benefits should they incur injury or death while assisting with disaster recovery.

House Bill 425 would authorize tax collectors to conduct sales through an online auction. This measure provides another option for those who perform most of their business online.

House Bill 461provides that the filing date for state tax returns is the same as the filing date for federal returns.

Committees will continue to be extremely busying during the next week as they work in anticipation of the February 23 deadline to report bills out of committee.

2/11/16

Posted February 12, 2016 - 6:09 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Governor Phil Bryant Appoints Rhea Sheldon 10th District Chancery Judge

JACKSON—Governor Phil Bryant announced today that he has appointed Purvis attorney Rhea Sheldon chancery judge in south Mississippi’s 10th Chancery Court District, which consists of Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, and Perry counties.

Sheldon succeeds Judge Dawn Beam, who was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court by Gov. Bryant in December 2015. Sheldon’s term will begin Feb. 22.

“Mrs. Sheldon’s diverse private practice experience will serve the people of the Tenth District well,” Gov. Bryant said. “I am thankful she has agreed to serve on the chancery bench, and I know she will continue the good work of Judge Dawn Beam.”

She has been engaged in private law practice in Mississippi since 2003, and most recently as a member of Sheldon & Parker, PLLC, in Purvis, Miss., since 2009. Sheldon oversaw all litigation matters handled by the firm and was lead trial counsel on all contested domestic matters. She is a member of the Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia Bar Associations.

“I am overwhelmed by the confidence Gov. Bryant has shown me by my appointment to chancery judge. Judge Dawn Beam and her predecessor Judge Sebe Dale were well respected by our bar and served the citizens of the 10th Chancery District with honor and character,” Sheldon said. “I look forward to this opportunity and will strive every day to follow in their footsteps to fulfill the office of chancery judge with the respect, honor, and integrity the seat holds and am humbled to be able to serve the citizens of the 10th Chancery District.”

In 2007, Sheldon was a recipient of the Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 50 Leading Business Women award. She is also a current member of the Mississippi Bar Ethics Committee.

Sheldon holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Southern Mississippi and earned her juris doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Sheldon is married to Jason Sheldon, and they have one child.


2/11/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 2:13 pm

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Governor Phil Bryant Commends Senate on Passage of Appointed Superintendents Bill

Jackson, Miss. – Gov. Phil Bryant commended the Mississippi Senate today for passing Senate Bill 2438, which requires superintendents be appointed by school boards.

“There is a reason that most of the nation has decided to appoint superintendents rather than elect them – because it works,” Gov. Bryant said. “Expanding the pool of candidates beyond a school district’s boundaries and removing politics from the office will better serve students, parents and teachers. I am pleased the Senate has passed this legislation, and I encourage the House to do the same. This should be the year this simple act of transformative innovation arrives in Mississippi.”


2/11/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 12:19 pm

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





SENATE PASSES BILL REQUIRING APPOINTED SUPERINTENDENTS

JACKSON – Legislation modernizing school governance through appointed superintendents passed the Senate in a large bipartisan vote today, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. Senate Bill 2438 moves to the House for consideration.

The bill, authored by Education Chairman Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, mandates that school boards hire superintendents to run daily operations. The change would take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

“I appreciate the work of Chairman Tollison and the entire Senate in moving this important legislation,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Limiting the pool of qualified educators to political boundaries hampers many school districts’ opportunities for success. Districts should be able to perform broad searches to find leaders who will inspire teachers and encourage students to learn.”

Few states have elected superintendents managing schools. Of the last eight school districts taken over by state officials for academic or financial mismanagement, six were managed by elected superintendents.

There are currently 55 elected superintendents in the state, which serve with elected school boards. The bill does not prohibit local boards from appointing current leaders.

The Senate has passed the bill several times in recent years; however the measure has not survived the House.


2/11/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 12:18 pm

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Legislation to Expand ESA’s Introduced in House and Senate

RIDGELAND, Miss.- New legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate to expand education choice options to all Mississippi families.
HB 943, introduced by Rep. John Moore (R-Brandon), and SB 2385, introduced by Sen. Buck Clarke (R-Hollandale), will make the Education Scholarship Account (ESA) program available to most students in Mississippi. This program will give first preference to students with special needs and then to low income students.

“Parents know their children best,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “And as parents, we make every decision about what’s best for our children. We choose their doctor, their babysitters, even the food that we put on the table for them, so why wouldn’t we give parents the ability to choose something as important as where their child goes to school? This bill is a tremendous step toward ensuring that every child in Mississippi has the opportunity to choose a high-quality education. I am proud to support it, and I thank Sen. Clarke and Rep. Moore for their leadership on this issue.”

“Every day Mississippi families in poorly performing public schools exercise school choice by moving to better school districts or placing their children in private schools. Unfortunately, these options are only a realistic possibility for those with financial means,” said Grant Callen, President of Empower Mississippi. “It’s time for all students to have access to quality education options and this bill would allow parents to choose the best educational setting for their child. We applaud Chairman Moore and Chairman Clarke for their leadership and commitment to Mississippi’s children.”

Education Scholarship Accounts give parents a new education option for their children. For students whose needs are not being met in public school, the ESA program allows parents to withdraw their child from public school and have the state education funds that would have been spent on the child’s behalf deposited into an ESA. The ESA funds allotted for that child can then be used for a variety of education-related expenses outside the traditional public school setting, including private school tuition, tutoring, educational therapy, textbooks, etc.

"The Education Scholarship Account program empowers parents by recognizing children are different," said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of ExcelinEd in Action (@ExcelinAction). "It allows parents to seek out the best learning environment for their child, regardless of the type of school - because different schools are the right fit for different students. I particularly applaud Mississippi lawmakers for their actions to expand educational choice, prioritizing those parents traditionally denied a say in where their children go to school. This is a strong statement for education equality and a proud moment in Mississippi's history."

“My family is in desperate need for help for my son Max," Amanda Felder of Clinton said. "We did not qualify for the ESA last year, but we support this expansion because it will help my family and so many others like us.”

All previous ESA receipts would remain eligible for the program. The program would be also available to all current public school students or those entering kindergarten or first grade. Other students who would be eligible include:

Students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or specified disability
Students with an active duty military parent
Foster children who have achieved permanency through adoption or guardianship
Siblings of currently eligible and participating students
Students with special needs will continue to be eligible for an ESA in the amount of $6,500, while low income students will be eligible for an ESA in the amount of $5,000. Middle class families will be eligible for an ESA in the amount of $4,000, and all others will receive an ESA for $3,000.

The program is capped at one percent of public school enrollment in its first year.


2/11/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 9:17 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Prison Chief Requests No Cuts in Budget




At a House Appropriations Committee meeting Wednesday, Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher recapped his efforts to cut costs and asked for $374 million in funding. It's the same level of funding the department received last year.

Fisher says the department is "seriously understaffed," which leaves probation and parole officers with more cases than they can handle.




WTOK
2/10/16



Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:46 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





BOBBY HARRISON: Democratic chairs growing hard to find




In 2016, Democrats did not try an alternative plan of picking up votes from the other side after they lost the November 2015 elections.

They might have tried except for the fact that their effort would have been futile. In current day Mississippi, politicians are not switching from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. They may be in other parts of the country, but not Mississippi.

With no path to victory viable, Democrats did not even nominate an alternative to Gunn as speaker. Gunn was re-elected by acclamation. In a sense, Gunn had no opposition.

Still, in the current partisan political environment, it is not surprising nor improper that Gunn turned to fellow Republicans for his committee chairs.



Daily Journal
2/10/16



Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:39 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Scruggs, Vassallo Debate: Could Hillary Clinton Be Prosecuted?



Dickie Scruggs: Hillary Clinton and her predecessors cannot be prosecuted over emails containing retrospectively classified information.

Neither Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell nor Condoleezza Rice could (or should) be prosecuted for privately possessing emails that contain information later determined to be classified. It is a criminal violation only to privately possess information or materials that have already been classified. None of the emails possessed by these recent Secretaries of State were classified when sent or received.

The timing of the classification is the fundamental difference between the case against Gen. David Petraeus and the cases of the Secretaries of State. General Petraeus was prosecuted because he possessed numerous documents that were classified when he took them into his private possession, as his public plea agreement makes clear.



Hotty Toddy
2/10/16



Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:35 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Wicker: Coast Guard Bill Signed Into Law

Legislation Includes Gulf Priorities, Grant Opportunities, Safety Provisions



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today said he was pleased to see that the “Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2015” has been signed into law by President Obama. The measure reauthorizes and supports the Coast Guard’s mission to defend the country on land, sea, and in the air. Wicker is a senior member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which oversees the Coast Guard.



“I am pleased to see that this legislation has now been enacted into law,” Wicker said. “This bill includes significant reform for vessels, specifically ones operating in the Gulf of Mexico, which will help save taxpayers millions of dollars. It will also provide support for the Coast Guard to protect America’s coastline, waterways, and ports, as well as execute security operations around the world.”



The legislation, H.R. 4188, includes several provisions authored by Wicker that focus on increasing grant opportunities for the Coast Guard Academy, improving the fishing vessel certification process, and updating carriage requirements for vessel survival crafts. The bill authorizes $9.1 billion in funding over the next two years for the Coast Guard and Federal Maritime Commission. It will help enable the service branch to modernize its fleets, bring its regulations in line with modern practices, and make changes to procurement standards.



Highlights included by Wicker in the bill:



Increasing Education Research Grant Opportunities: The Coast Guard Academy is now eligible to receive federal, state, and other education research grant opportunities currently available for other federal service academies. The Coast Guard Academy was not previously eligible for these grants.


Improving Fishing Vessel Certification: This provision provides an alternative safety compliance program for vessels from 50 feet to 79 feet in length, serving as an exemption from costly certification requirements for those vessels. The Government Accountability Office will be required to provide a report to Congress within a year about regional trends with regard to marine casualties for vessels over 79 feet that operate beyond three miles.


Updating Survival Craft Requirements: This provision will restore the Coast Guard’s risk-based regulatory system. The updated survival craft regulations would only impact passenger vessels that are built or undergo a major conversion after January 1, 2016, and operate in cold waters.


2/10/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:33 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Wicker Praises SCOTUS Order to Stop Costly EPA Rule

Harmful, Unattainable Executive Overreach Halted Until Legal Challenges Resolved



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the Obama Administration’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” while 26 states challenge its legality in a lower court.



“The Supreme Court’s nearly unprecedented but welcome action yesterday underscores what Americans have been saying all along – the President’s regulatory overreach is too costly, too invasive, and violates constitutional separation of powers,” Wicker said. “President Obama is attempting to change how our nation produces energy in the name of regulating carbon dioxide emissions, which has nothing to do with cutting smog or achieving cleaner air. His plan could lead to widespread job losses, stalled economic growth, and skyrocketing energy costs.”



Last November, Wicker voted in support of two measures aimed at blocking implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) costly rule. Specifically, the bills would have reversed the Administration’s restrictive regulations for new and existing coal-fired power plants. Under the “Congressional Review Act” (CRA), Congress can overturn actions by a federal agency following the formal publication and submission of a rule to Congress.



Although state compliance with the “Clean Power Plan” is not required until 2022, EPA set a September deadline for states to submit a plan to comply with the rule. The U.S. Court of Appeals is not likely to issue a ruling on the legality of the rules until months after it hears oral arguments, which begin on June 2, 2016.


2/10/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:32 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


COCHRAN VOTES TO STRENGTHEN NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS ENFORCEMENT

Overwhelming Senate Support for Confronting North Korean Nuclear Ambitions, Cybercrimes, Human Right Abuses

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today voted to strengthen the U.S. enforcement of sanctions to stymie North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (HR.757), approved 96-0, is bipartisan legislation to strengthen the ability of the United States to combat national and international security threats posed by the Kim Jong-un regime in North Korea. The Senate measure strengthens a House-passed sanctions bill by providing new tools to challenge North Korean aggression and compelling the President to use them.

"It is clear that we must change our approach to confronting the repressive regime controlling North Korea, which has repeatedly flaunted its disrespect for the world. Its nuclear weapons ambitions and government-sanctioned cyberattacks represent a threat to the security of the United States, our allies and global stability," Cochran said. "This comprehensive sanctions legislation is intended to strengthen our hand in dealing with North Korea."



2/10/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:29 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:




Wicker: Senate Votes to Strengthen N. Korea Sanctions

Miss. Senator Says Obama’s Doctrine of ‘Strategic Patience’ Not Working



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was joined by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Senators in voting to expand and strengthen sanctions aimed at the North Korean regime.



The President’s doctrine of ‘strategic patience’ toward North Korea is clearly not working,” Wicker said. “The ‘hermit kingdom’ flaunts its nuclear ambitions and ballistic missile capabilities with no consequences. The least we can do is impose additional sanctions on the Kim regime and those who continue to support it. I am hopeful that the Administration will join us in sending a strong message to the North Korean dictator that his provocations will no longer be tolerated.”



Specifically, the “North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016” would:


Require the Administration to investigate sanctionable conduct, including proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), arms-related materials, luxury goods, human rights abuses, activities undermining cyber security and the provision of industrial inputs such as precious metals or coal for use in a tailored set of activities, including WMD, proliferation activities, and prison and labor camps.

Mandate sanctions on any person found to have materially contributed to, engaged in, or facilitated these activities.

Require a strategy to promote improved implementation and enforcement of multilateral sanctions; a strategy to combat North Korean cyber activities; and a strategy to promote and encourage international engagement on North Korean human rights-related issues.


2/10/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:27 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.








WTVA
2/10/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:24 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


BILL REQUIRING APPOINTED SUPERINTENDENTS PASSES SENATE COMMITTEE

JACKSON – The Senate Education Committee today passed legislation improving the governance of school districts through appointed superintendents, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. Senate Bill 2438 moves to the full Senate for consideration.

“The current model of electing superintendents strictly limits the ability of local communities to find the best candidate for the job,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Districts should be able to choose highly qualified candidates to lead their schools without the limits of an individual’s geography and desire to run for office.”

Mississippi is one of the few states that continues to elect superintendents. There are currently 55 elected superintendents in the state. The bill does not prohibit local boards from appointing their current leaders.

The bill, authored by Education Chairman Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, mandates that school boards hire superintendents to run daily operations. The change would take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

The Senate has passed the bill several times in recent years; however the measure has not survived the House.

“I believe this is the year Mississippi finally takes that crucial step in improving district management,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said.


2/10/16

Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:21 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Sid Salter: Gas tax hike hard sell to Mississippi lawmakers



At the federal level, the Obama administration is also openly talking about changing the way federal highway funds get to local governments. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says he wants to find a way for cities to get federal transportation funds directly rather than passed to them by the states.

In Mississippi, where we still elect transportation commissioners, such public policy would represent a sea change.

While the politics of “tax hike, no tax hike” remains, the unintended consequences of ignoring deteriorating roads and bridges in the state will soon begin to manifest itself in economic development pursuits. That fact is the strongest card held by proponents of the MEC’s road and bridge finance plan.

But raising taxes — any taxes for any purpose — remains a tough political sell in Mississippi’s present political climate.



ClarionLedger
2/10/16



Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:15 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





State lawmakers endorse Clinton for Dem primary



A list of lawmakers supporting Clinton:

Sen. Deborah Dawkins
Rep. Earle Banks
Rep. Jeramey Anderson
Rep. Jarvis Dortch
Rep. Chris Bell
Rep. Alyce Clarke
Sen. Angela Turner
Sen. Sampson Jackson
Sen. John Horhn
Rep. Steve Holland
Sen. Sollie Norwood
Sen. Robert Jackson
Rep. Oscar Denton
Sen. Derrick Simmons
Rep. Omeria Scott
Rep. Tommy Reynolds
Sen. Albert Butler
Rep. Greg Holloway
Rep. John Faulkner
Sen. Willie Simmons
Rep. Orlando Paden
Rep. Rufus Straughter
Rep. Kathy Sykes



ClarionLedger
2/10/16



Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:12 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Go heeled for God: Bill would allow guns in church



A bill authored by House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson would allow Mississippi churches to authorize members to carry firearms and provide legal protection for those who do.

"I started thinking about this after the church shooting in South Carolina," Gipson said of House Bill 786, the "Mississippi Church Protection Act" now pending in his committee.

Gipson said state law is unclear, and conflicting, on packing in church.

"One section says you can with an enhanced carry permit, another statute has an outright prohibition for places of worship," Gipson said. "This gives churches the option, the choice. They can create their own security program and designate members who can carry ... A lot of these smaller churches can't afford to hire security."



ClarionLedger
2/10/16



Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:09 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Bill would allow teachers to promote creationism



A Mississippi lawmaker wants to strengthen a public school teacher’s ability to express beliefs that challenge climate change and evolution, among other subjects.

Rep. Mark Formby, R-Picayune, said a constituent told him a teacher had been questioned after bringing up the theory of creationism, or the religious belief that the universe originated from acts of divine creation.

“I just don’t want my teachers punished in any form or fashion for bringing creationism into the debate. Lots of us believe in creationism,” Formby, the chairman of the House Revenue and Expenditure committee, said. “To say that creationism as a theory is any less valuable than any other theory that nobody can scientifically prove I just think is being close-minded.”



ClarionLedger
2/10/16



Posted February 11, 2016 - 6:04 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





YallPolitics has confirmed that one of the candidates in the Senate District 25 race was not certified by the Secretary of State. Originally, the Clarion Ledger had reported that three candidates filed to qualify. However, J. Leland Speed, an executive of Eastover Insurance Group, was not certified by the Secretary of State in the race after filing to qualify.

That leaves only a two man race between former State Senator J. Walter Michel who once occupied the seat prior to 2011 and Bill Billingsley who recently was defeated in the SD 25 Republican primary by Will Longwitz, who succeeded Michel and recently accepted a judicial appointment.

Posted February 10, 2016 - 11:47 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


COCHRAN STATEMENT ON OBAMA'S FY2017 BUDGET REQUEST


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, today said the committee will remain focused on fiscal discipline despite a FY2017 budget from President Obama that relies on more spending and new taxes.

"President Obama's final budget proposal contains all manner of new spending and tax increases, and a troubling reliance on mandatory spending to skirt spending limits. There will be little appetite in Congress for mandatory spending that diminishes fiscal discipline and congressional oversight.

"The Appropriations Committee will review the proposals within its jurisdiction to determine which should be altered, improved or eliminated. Our goal will be to produce FY2017 appropriations bills that responsibly allocate taxpayer dollars to support national priorities."

The President on Tuesday submitted to Congress a nearly $4.15 trillion budget proposal for FY2017, marking the beginning of the annual federal budget and appropriations process.


2/9/16

Posted February 10, 2016 - 7:35 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Wicker Statement on President Obama’s Budget



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s final budget proposal:



“The President’s final budget has arrived with a resounding thud in Congress. On the crucial issue of addressing the debt crisis, his budget does nothing. On the important issue of restraining growth in mandatory spending, the President’s budget does nothing.



“For the last six years, we have had a divided government. Divided government has historically been a time when a President could reach out to congressional leaders of the other party and make tough decisions, such as reining in the debt for coming generations. Sadly, the President has missed his final opportunity to address one of the real crises we face as Americans: the growing debt.”



2/9/16

Posted February 10, 2016 - 7:33 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Delegation to Feds: Mississippi Unfairly Targeted by Carbon Dioxide Rule

Congressional Leaders Send Letter Urging Federal Agencies to Review Clean Power Plan

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., along with U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Gregg Harper, R-Miss., Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., and Trent Kelly, R-Miss., have issued a strongly-worded letter to three federal agencies that asserts the proposed Clean Power Plan goals are prohibitively expensive and unattainable by Mississippi, despite significant investments to improve air quality in the state.

The congressional delegation letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) asks that they investigate whether carbon dioxide reduction goals associated with the Clean Power Plan are achievable at a reasonable cost - specifically for the state of Mississippi.

The letter reads in part: "We believe Mississippi has been treated unfairly and disproportionately under the Clean Power Plan compared to the vast majority of states. EPA's goal is so difficult that Mississippi would have the third largest carbon cost recovery index and the third highest marginal cost of carbon reduction, according to Fitch Ratings Analysis. ... Moreover, Mississippi's energy production could be severely limited by the re-dispatching of generation resources to reflect a 70 percent natural gas combined cycle capacity factor. This requirement, when combined with the unattainable renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, places every coal-fired facility in Mississippi at risk of being prematurely shut down.

"Utilities in Mississippi have made significant investments over the past several years, substantially reducing the state's carbon intensity, particularly at Grand Gulf and the Kemper facility. These early, strategic investments, which led to Mississippi's ranking as the 13th best CO2 emission rate in 2012, are not only ignored by EPA but punished under the proposed rule. The rule would force Mississippi to have the 12th lowest (most difficult) goal among the states, even though this goal is much lower than the new source standard and national average."

The letter concludes, "We encourage a review of the rule as applied to Mississippi. We urge you to ensure that a full, factual investigation has been done to demonstrate that carbon reduction goals are achievable at a reasonable cost."

Full text of the letter:

Dear Administrator McCarthy, Secretary Vilsack, and Director Donovan:

We are deeply concerned about the White House's attempt to regulate CO2 emissions from existing power plants without appropriate factual analysis. We believe Mississippi has been treated unfairly and disproportionately under the Clean Power Plan compared to the vast majority of states.

Utilities in Mississippi have made significant investments over the past several years, substantially reducing the state's carbon intensity, particularly at Grand Gulf and the Kemper facility. These early, strategic investments, which led to Mississippi's ranking as the 13th best CO2 emission rate in 2012, are not only ignored by EPA but punished under the proposed rule. The rule would force Mississippi to have the 12th lowest (most difficult) goal among the states, even though this goal is much lower than the new source standard and national average.

In fact, EPA's goal is so difficult that Mississippi would have the third largest carbon cost recovery index and the third highest marginal cost of carbon reduction, according to Fitch Ratings Analysis. Given the state's low median household income and the percentage of income devoted to electricity costs, it is clear that EPA performed insufficient analysis on the rule's impact at the state level.

EPA has touted the Clean Power Plan's flexibility through its four "Building Blocks" used to calculate the state goal. However, the reductions associated with each individual building block are so stringent and aggressive that there is no ability to achieve any of them, discrediting the notion of flexibility.

Moreover, Mississippi's energy production could be severely limited by the re-dispatching of generation resources to reflect a 70 percent natural gas combined cycle capacity factor. This requirement, when combined with the unattainable renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, places every coal-fired facility in Mississippi at risk of being prematurely shut down. Many of these facilities have installed, or are currently installing, very expensive equipment in response to prior EPA rules. Under the new proposal, these pollution control assets could be stranded, with some possibly never being placed into service.

A rural electric generation and transmission cooperative is one of the utilities in Mississippi that has a coal-fired facility at risk for early retirement. The forced shutdown of this facility could jeopardize taxpayer-backed Rural Utilities Service loans. If Mississippi ratepayers cannot pay the costs of complying with the Clean Power Plan, their entire loan portfolio may be at risk. There is a strong federal interest that exists for rural electrification, and it should not be sacrificed for EPA's goals.

In closing, we encourage a review of the rule as applied to Mississippi. We urge you to ensure that a full, factual investigation has been done to demonstrate that carbon reduction goals are achievable at a reasonable cost.


2/9/16

Posted February 10, 2016 - 7:32 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Russ Latino: Taxpayers bear risk in Continental deal




There is a better long term solution than picking winners and losers with taxpayer dollars. America’s great wealth was amassed largely on the back of free market principles. Understanding the free market means understanding that it is not the role of government to “create” jobs or to manage the economy. Instead, the government should create an atmosphere that allows people to buy, sell and profit with as little tax and regulatory burden as possible. In that setting, consumers—citizens—decide what businesses thrive and which businesses go under. It leads to the most efficient use of resources.

The fact that our state gives such lucrative tax breaks to a handful of companies is a tacit admission that lower taxes create a climate for economic growth. The state should embrace this understanding for all employers and would-be entrepreneurs, not just the chosen few. In practice, this looks like comprehensive tax and regulatory reform that stops punishing businesses for investment and productivity in Mississippi and tears down barriers to entry for entrepreneurs.

Lastly, I’d invite you to consider this issue as a question of property rights. In 2011, 73% of Mississippians voted against eminent domain abuse that allowed the government to take private property and give it to a private business. This is not much different. The money you earn is your property. It should not be given to private corporations.



ClarionLedger
2/9/16



Posted February 10, 2016 - 6:01 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Charlie Mitchell: Reed focused on what’s best for Mississippi



Reed’s life has been a reminder that (1) there is a big picture and (2) some see it. He engaged in give and take with his mind fixated on the common good.

In 2001, before Mississippians voted in a non-binding referendum on whether a new state flag should be designed, Reed wrote a letter to the editor of his hometown paper, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. In it, he said, “To me, a fifth-generation Mississippian with four children and eight grandchildren all living in Mississippi, this is not primarily ‘Black vs. White’ or ‘Good Guys vs. Bad Guys,’ as there are some of each on both sides. I view this as the past vs. the future, and what Mississippi becomes in the 21st Century.”...


...In its editorial after Reed died, the Journal wrote, “Private citizens with exceptional gifts for engaging in public issues walk among us too rarely, but that rarity makes a life of service to the whole community as Jack Reed Sr. lived it even more remarkable.”

Yes, and amen.



ClarionLedger
2/9/16



Posted February 10, 2016 - 5:56 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Education agencies give budget briefs




Education officials from K-12, community colleges and colleges and universities on Tuesday highlighted their past successes and future financial needs in presentations to lawmakers...


...House Appropriations Chairman Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, said the committee will likely look at specific programs in each of the three agencies that warrant additional funding.

“You take K-12, community colleges, universities and workforce training — they are the Siamese quadruplets that drive the Mississippi economy as to what kind of outcomes they’re producing, so everything I heard today was a priority,” said Frierson. “But what can be done with limited resources is the challenge.”

Frierson also said the Legislature will have to balance additional education funding with the $34 million being requested for foster care reform.


ClarionLedger
2/9/16




Posted February 10, 2016 - 5:51 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





3 running for vacant seat in Mississippi Senate



Three candidates are running for a Mississippi Senate seat in parts of Hinds and Madison counties.

Bill Billingsley of Madison, Walter Michel of Ridgeland and J. Leland Speed of Madison will be on the ballot March 8 — the same day as congressional and presidential primaries.

The District 25 seat became vacant when Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Republican Sen. Will Longwitz to be a Madison County judge.




ClarionLedger
2/9/16



Posted February 10, 2016 - 5:48 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Economic development projects provide concern



Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, questioned the wisdom of providing the litany of tax breaks, including the state returning 3.5 percent of the payroll taxes paid by the new manufacturers’ employees to the company for 25 years.

Bryan estimated the tax incentives and bonds provided for German tire manufacturer Continental would total more than half of $1 billion. Soon, he said, the Legislature would have provided so many tax breaks that there would not be enough money to take care of essential services...


...While Bryan ultimately voted for the incentives package, freshman Rep. Joel Bomgar, R-Madison, did not, questioning the wisdom of the companies receiving benefits that other Mississippi companies did not.



Daily Journal
2/7/16

Posted February 9, 2016 - 7:46 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Legislators file bills by deadline



House Bill 4: It creates a parental involvement and accountability act in public schools.

“Parent accountability has decreased, and efforts undertaken to increase parental involvement is critical to improving student academic performance, addressing student misbehavior and monitoring daily attendance,” says the bill filed by state Rep. Greg Holloway, D-Hazlehurst.

If the bill passes, each report card for students in kindergarten through Grade 12 would include a section in which the teacher grades parental involvement as satisfactory, in need of improvement or unsatisfactory on each of the following criteria:

•Parental response to requests for conferences or communication;

•The student’s completion of homework and preparation for tests;

•The frequency of the student’s absence and tardiness; and

•The student’s overall grade per nine (9) week’s assessment.



Hattiesburg American
2/8/16

Posted February 9, 2016 - 7:38 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





State Treasurer Lands Leadership Role with Regional Treasurers in National Association



State Treasurer Lynn Fitch now has another role as the Vice President of State Treasurers for the Southern Region as part of the National Association of State Treasurers.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to reprise my role on the NAST Executive Committee,” said Fitch. “This organization gives me such a wonderful opportunity to better serve Mississippians by networking with and learning from other state treasurers across the country. And, it gives me a powerful voice to advocate for Mississippi’s needs where federal regulations and laws are concerned.”



NewsMS
2/8/16

Posted February 9, 2016 - 7:32 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Continental Tire formally announced at Clinton High School



Gov. Phil Bryant and other legislators officially welcomed Continental Tire to the Hinds County district today at Clinton High School. The room was packed with students, lawmakers, county workers, and residents to see the Governor officially welcome Continental Tire to the area.

The new business that is known worldwide will be building a new factory in the Hinds County area and bringing 2,500 jobs with them.



NewsMS
2/8/16



Posted February 9, 2016 - 7:29 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Mayor Tony Yarber endorses Hillary Clinton in Democratic presidential primary



Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary, citing Clinton’s attentiveness to local issues facing families in often underserved communities.

Last week, Clinton took note of a municipal issue in Jackson, praising city officials for their response and transparency.

“Hillary Clinton knows how to make it happen,” said Mayor Yarber. “As President, she will give special and needed attention to cities – particularly minority-led cities – and the issues that plague us. She is committed to pushing for creative infrastructure investments and to building on the progress President Obama has made. In my mind, she is the only candidate who can pragmatically achieve important gains for families and communities, and it’s why I’m proud to support her candidacy.”



WLBT
2/8/16

Posted February 9, 2016 - 7:26 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





AG to Prosecute Case Against Mississippi Poll Workers



The Attorney General's Office has taken over the prosecution in a voting fraud case filed last year against five southwestern Mississippi poll workers.

The Enterprise-Journal of McComb reports that a Republican Party poll watcher and a precinct bailiff had filed charges against the poll workers in Franklin County's Bude precinct after saying that they had witnessed irregularities during the general election in November.

The Attorney General's office stepped in after the county prosecutor and District Attorney recused themselves from the case.



WTOK
2/8/16

Posted February 9, 2016 - 7:22 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

WLOX
2/8/16

Posted February 9, 2016 - 7:20 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Special Session Vote Exposes Growing Rift
As the world turns in Mississippi politics

by Frank Corder
The Legislature passed an incentive package last week for two large economic development projects coming to Mississippi - Continental Tire in Hinds County and Topship in Harrison County - with a total investment of close to $1.5 billion and the addition of 3,500 jobs. Gov. Phil Bryant called it the biggest day in state economic development history.

At the end of the day, however, only six legislators voted against the package - Rep. Bill Shirley (R), Rep. Joel Bomgar (R), Rep. Steve Horne (R), Sen. John Polk (R), Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), and Sen. Deborah Dawkins (D).

What has occurred since then on social media is quite telling from a political perspective.

If you follow the interwebs and know the frequent Facebook and Twitter commenters and their affection for certain politicians you can quickly see the rift that is developing.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel wrote this on his Facebook page on Friday afternoon, which drew the expected "Thank you, Chris," sugarcoated fawning comments:

"This afternoon, the press has been calling to inquire as to why I voted against the large economic package passed yesterday. Although I could write numerous paragraphs (both philosophical and practical) on the many reasons I chose not to support the legislation, my short statement on the vote may be found below:

'First, I didn't receive a copy of the 200-page bill until this morning of the vote. It would have been reckless to support the bill without time to read and research it. Second, not only did the numbers not seem fair to the taxpayers, the corporate welfare aspect of the legislation caused me great concern. Instead of handouts to billion dollar corporations, Mississippi should assist its small business owners by creating a free and fair environment (free market) which allows for economic growth. Eliminating the inventory tax, franchise tax and corporate income tax would be a good start.'"


Of course, McDaniel did not mention the MDA legislative briefing held the day before.

State Sen. Angela Hill then posted this on her Facebook Saturday morning, which drew quite a bit of conversation:

"Politicians and their groupies whose persona is dedicated to grandstanding on social media may render themselves inconsequential in the real scheme of things...it takes legitimate participation in the process to improve our condition."


Sen. Hill, to her credit, defended her special session vote even in the face of heated criticism and obvious digs at her ties to McDaniel.

Rev. Ben James, a familiar name around the state Senate as chaplain, seemed to revel in mixing his spiritual guidance in the Capitol with political guidance in a long retort to Hill:

"Senator, I don't know what politician you are referring to in this post... My cousin Senator Chris McDaniel who has the largest number of folks in our state following him and supporting his positions on social media. He won the largest percentage for re election of all state senators nearly 90 percent in his district. He stands for his principles and never kisses the brass ring to go along to get along with the powers that be. His principled stands he outlines fully on social media and Russ Latino and Chris were in the same page this week like John Polk, Joel Bomgar and many others like me who are tax paying citizens and small business owners much overlooked in our businesses... As Chris said you all saw this huge bill for the first time the morning of the vote. Joey Fillingane my senator the chair of finance told Billy Hudson he had only read 5 percent of the bill right before presenting it in finance and on the floor and voting for 263 million dollar tax giveaway and new state debt In a time of budget constraints and cuts discussing a gas tax hike for all of us for roads and bridges in Ms. You are our dear friend we appreciate your principled conservative stands on issues we pray for you daily!! But I will tell you my cousin Chris McDaniel is not grandstanding!!! God Bless."


Hill challenged the notion that legislators didn't have time to read the bill and that the bill was reckless, saying, "Only 5% of the bill was relevant... [a majority was] Already existing law."

Hill explained in another reply, "...the bill was 169 pages with 98% of that old code section brought forward. Not sure about the House, but the Senate had time to read the few new sections in a 2.5 hr long finance committee meeting. The 2 projects should have been separated, but that's not how we got them. We could have been forced to pay back Katrina money larger thanthis state project commitment. It all comes out of the same pot. Some of us try to make informed decisions. It was a calculator issue to me."

Former state senator Melanie Sojourner chimed in as well regarding the special session vote, saying, "I think several have agreed this vote was bad long term policy. If that is true and it is, then voting yes is not a short term fix... Giving in on what appears to be a short term fix just prolongs the fact that we'll never get long term solutions."

State Senators Sean Tindell and Michael Watson came to Hill's defense.

Sen. Tindell noted, "It's about jobs. The reality is we are competing with other states when these packages are offered. Unless you live in bubble it's clear to see we don't have as many job opportunities as our southern neighbors. So when my children head out on their own I don't want the question to be how can they afford stay in Mississippi. Instead it needs to be why would they leave? We need jobs, jobs and more jobs."

Sen. Watson not only defended his vote for the economic development projects on Hill's page, but posted on his own Facebook page a critique of Americans for Prosperity, a group led in state by Russ Latino, who came out strong against the package and on this issue has been closely linked to McDaniel (evidenced by Rev. James' comments above):

"While I have great respect for Americans for Prosperity and the work they do, I disagree with the way they have characterized the bond bill passed in the legislature this week. Koch Industries (AFP's financial backers) has taken advantage of, and profited from, many incentive programs throughout the years. One of their recent projects was a steel mill, which Mississippi worked hard to recruit, that chose to locate in Arkansas due in part to $125 million in bonded incentives and $200 million in tax credits from that state. A spokesman for Koch Industries echoed my sentiments exactly on the subject, when he said, "Koch Industries will not put ourselves and our employees at a competitive disadvantage in the current marketplace." Incentive programs are the reality of the current marketplace, and I choose not to put Mississippians at a competitive disadvantage because the marketplace is less than ideal."


AFP's Russ Latino challenged Watson's assertion, saying, "Respectfully, Koch Industries does not financially support AFP Mississippi and these are not the same thing. A private business recognizing that they are being put at a disadvantage because of subsidies provided to competitors and a state electing to give taxpayer dollars is not the same thing. We haven't named a single legislator, but have stood on basic free market principles. If you think we have mischaracterized a fact related to the deal, I'm happy to discuss it."

Mississippi Libertarian leader Danny Bedwell, watching all of this back and forth, and adding fuel to the fire where he could, summed up all of this squabbling and debate quite nicely with a special invitation:

"I ask Senator Chris McDaniel, Senator Melanie Sojourner, and Representative Joel Bomgar to give up their quest to straighten out the Republican Party, and to join the Libertarian Party. The establishment GOP has made it clear that they do not value your counsel. The only time you receive praise from them, is when you vote the way the establishment wants you to vote. You're welcome in the Libertarian Party, which is the only truly limited government party in Mississippi. You know this to be true."


It’s certainly instructive to see the forces that are pushing and pulling on public policy in Mississippi. Much of that is certainly happening on social media, and it all contributes to the record that we’re tracking here at Y’all Politics.

Posted February 9, 2016 - 7:03 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Sid Salter: Mississippi prison reform being emulated



By 1999’s election year, calls were widespread to relax the 85 percent rule because of the staggering increase in prison costs and the burgeoning prison population. The law was eventually amended in 2014 to make certain first-time, nonviolent offenders eligible for parole after serving 25 percent of their sentences.

In 2015, Mississippi also adopted the concept of “presumptive parole” which created a presumption that a prisoner would not be a menace to society or public safety, and would have to be released upon serving his or her minimum sentence, if the prisoner scored a high probability of parole based on established parole guidelines.

In other words, it took the politics and emotion out of the parole process. The Michigan Legislature is considering similar policies that the Michigan Department of Corrections estimates will save the state as much as $82 million.



ClarionLedger
2/7/16



Posted February 8, 2016 - 6:36 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Presidential hopefuls collect $816,198 from Mississippi



Carson was among Mississippians who donated a combined $816,198 last year to presidential hopefuls. Republican candidates accounted for $669,095, and Democrats received $147,102, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, running for the GOP nomination, topped the list of recipients with $194,460, followed by Republican Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, with $142,522 and Clinton with $109,813.

Clinton's rival for the Democratic nomination, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, collected $24,389 from Mississippians last year.



ClarionLedger
2/7/16



Posted February 8, 2016 - 6:31 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Mississippi bill would reward high-performing schools



A bill tying academic performance to school districts’ funding may change the conversation at the Capitol from school choice and the Mississippi Adequate Education Program to another issue entirely.

Rep. Hank Zuber, R-Ocean Springs, has authored a bill that would incorporate incentive funding into the current educational accountability model.

If passed, school districts could receive up to $100 more per student for showing improvement on the previous year’s tests, offering International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses, and the number of high-performing teachers serving as mentors for other teachers in their subject area, among other criteria.



ClarionLedger
2/6/16



Posted February 8, 2016 - 6:27 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Legislative Perspectives



LEGISLATIVE BRIEFS

Abortion burial regulations

Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R-Picayune, introduced a bill that would provide new regulations on babies who have been miscarried or aborted and their mothers.

The “Mississippi Unborn Infants Dignity Act” would require miscarried, stillborn or aborted infants to receive a proper burial and their death to be reported and issuance of a death certificate.

The bill would also forbid the sale or transfer of any infant remains from an abortion and criminalize any violations of the act.

The bill was referred to the Public Health and Welfare Committee...



...Elected state superintendent

While many legislators are proposing changing school district superintendents in Mississippi from elected to appointed, Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, introduced a bill to require the state superintendent of education to change to an elected position and to require that the superintendent have lived in the state for at least 15 years.

Currently, the state superintendent is appointed by the state Board of Education.




ClarionLedger
2/6/16





Posted February 8, 2016 - 6:21 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Trent Lott: I’d have thrown out Cruz for ‘liar’ speech




Trent Lott (R-Miss.) says he would take a hard line with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) if he was still running the Senate...



..."Having been majority leader, I’ve never had someone stand on the Senate floor and call me a liar,” Lott said in an interview with The Hill's Molly K. Hooper. “In fact, if I had been in the Senate at that time I would have moved to have him removed from the Senate chamber physically.”



The Hill
2/6/16



Posted February 8, 2016 - 6:15 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





GEOFF PENDER: Incentives are way of the world



Lastly, the Continental plant will help an economically depressed area: western Hinds County and Jackson. As Bryant put it: “Hinds County needs this plant.”

Now, the State Port of Gulfport project is a fish of a different color. Its state investment — borrowing $11 million plus tax breaks — is more of a pragmatic deal. A post-Katrina, federally funded $570 million pipe dream of “The Port of the Future” hasn’t panned out and created the jobs the state promised HUD it would.

Now, the feds are breathing down the state’s neck and have threatened to make the state repay hundreds of millions of dollars. State officials have been trying to count anyone who walks by the port and has a job as being a maritime employee. The 1,000 jobs from the planned Topship yard, on nearby inland port property, would appear to come close to satisfying HUD’s jobs requirements.

In a perfect world, states should stop doling out all these incentives. But could Mississippi afford to go first? Bryant says, no.

“I’ve often told people that if everybody else quit doing it, we would quit,” Bryant said. “But if they’re not going to put their swords down, I’m not going to.”



ClarionLedger
2/6/16



Posted February 8, 2016 - 6:08 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.








WTOK
2/5/16

Posted February 8, 2016 - 6:04 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Cochran, Wicker, Kelly Urge Use of American-grown Rice for Humanitarian Relief



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., along with U.S. Representative Trent Kelly, R-Miss., today joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers advocating for government procurement of U.S.-grown rice for use in “Food For Peace” emergency response efforts.



The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are in the process of determining commodities for use in humanitarian relief shipments. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USAID Administrator Gayle Smith, the Mississippians joined lawmakers from other rice-producing states to ask that U.S.-grown rice be prioritized for delivery through “Food For Peace” and other relief programs.



“It is no secret that rice is the most consumed commodity in the world and is an excellent staple food in addressing hidden hunger,” the lawmakers wrote. “Milled U.S.-grown rice has a long history as an important part of both USDA’s and USAID’s ongoing food assistance programs. The recent addition of fortified rice to the U.S. government commodity master list will also provide new opportunities to address the devastating impact of acute micronutrient deficiencies.”



The Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (Public Law 114-113) provided funding for food aid to international populations in need. In addition to “Food For Peace,” the food aid funding supports the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program and the Food for Progress Program. These programs help support food security where it is most in jeopardy and provide relief to conflict-stricken areas around the globe.



Rice is a leading commodity crop grown in Mississippi. The Mississippi Delta produced 13.6 million hundredweight of rice in 2014, with a $174 million production value.



The letter, spearheaded by Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., was signed by Senators Cochran, Wicker, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., David Vitter, R-La., Bill Cassidy, R-La., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Representatives Kelly, Rick Crawford, R-Ark., Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-La., Mike Bost, R-Ill., Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., French Hill, R-Ark., Jason Smith, R-Mo., Charles Boustany Jr., M.D., R-La., Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., Steve Womack, R-Ark., John Fleming, M.D., R-La., Ted Poe, R-Texas, and John Garamendi, D-Calif.



Full text of the letter:



Dear Secretary Vilsack and Administrator Smith:


Thank you for your work in utilizing the bounty of the U.S. agriculture sector to provide food to the world’s hungry and to conflict-stricken areas around the globe, particularly through the use of the Food For Peace program. This partnership between American agriculture and global humanitarian efforts dates back over 60 years and we hope to see it continue to improve nutrition and food security globally.



As you know, in December H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016, was signed into law. This bill directly supports U.S. international food aid efforts by providing additional funding to deliver critically needed food aid to populations in need. The additional food aid funds not only support the continued success of critical programs, such as the McGovern-Dole Food For Education Program and the Food for Progress Program, but also provide the first significant increase in P.L. 480 funding in many years for the Food For Peace program.



The additional $250 million is to be directed towards supporting emergency response efforts to the ongoing refugee crisis and famine through in-kind food aid assistance. As you know, in-kind food aid contributions leverage the bounty of U.S. agricultural commodities to provide a safe and reliable source of food to populations in need.



It is no secret that rice is the most consumed commodity in the world and is an excellent staple food in addressing hidden hunger. Milled U.S.-grown rice has a long history as an important part of both USDA’s and USAID’s ongoing food assistance programs. The recent addition of fortified rice to the U.S. government commodity master list will also provide new opportunities to address the devastating impact of acute micronutrient deficiencies.



The U.S. rice industry also has a long and successful partnership with both the U.S. government and private humanitarian agencies and shares the goal of meeting the nutritional needs of vulnerable populations around the world. With a strong crop of rice this past year resulting in significant stocks, we see a clear opportunity to provide greater assistance in an even more economical fashion to help those in need as a result of the refugee crisis.



We ask that during the procurement process for the in-kind commodities used in the emergency response efforts in the Middle East that U.S.-grown rice, including fortified rice, be prioritized for delivery to those in need.



2/5/16

Posted February 8, 2016 - 6:02 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


MISS. SENATORS WANT LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR U.S. STEEL INDUSTRY

Cochran, Wicker Press Administration to Address Unfair Rebar Imports from Turkey

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today asked the Obama administration to take action to help the U.S. steel industry compete on a level playing field with imports that are subsidized by foreign governments.

The Mississippi Senators joined 23 colleagues on a letter that asks Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to quickly complete an administrative review of a countervailing duties order on government-subsidized Turkish rebar in order to ensure that accurate penalties are assessed against this product. Complaints about unfair Turkish imports are part of a years-long effort by the U.S. steel industry to persuade the U.S. Court of International Trade and U.S. International Trade Commission to pursue penalties against unfair rebar imports.

"American steel manufacturers need the Commerce Department to take the next steps to ensure the enforcement of justifiable duties against unfair imports. This is a matter of economic fairness to our steel industry in Mississippi and around the country. Unfair imports should not be allowed to undercut the U.S. market," Cochran said.

"Mississippi steel workers deserve to know that their government is fighting to ensure that unfair trade practices will not be tolerated," Wicker said. "The Administration needs to protect American companies and jobs from being directly undermined by imports of steel rebar subsidized by foreign governments. Taking action now would allow our workers to remain competitive globally."

The Nucor Corp., with operations in Starkville and Flowood, is a member of the Rebar Trade Action Coalition, which is the primary petitioner filing countervailing duty and antidumping cases on imports of rebar from Turkey. Despite rulings favorable to the U.S. industry, rebar imports from Turkey have doubled since 2010 and continue to surge. Today, about 80 percent of rebar imports to the United States are from Turkey.

"We thank Senators Cochran and Wicker for standing with all of us here at Nucor Steel Jackson as we continue to fight an onslaught of unfairly traded rebar from Turkey," said Kevin Van de Ven, general manager of Nucor Steel Jackson, Inc. "The unrelenting flood of imports is threatening the livelihoods of our 278 teammates and must be addressed by our government as quickly and strongly as possible."

In their letter to Pritzker, Senators wrote, "We must ensure that our antidumping and countervailing duties accurately reflect unfair trade practices so that U.S. workers and businesses can compete on a level playing field and are protected from unfairly-traded imports.

"As members who represent rebar manufacturing facilities, we understand the negative impacts that unfairly-traded imports can have on this industry, its workers, and their families, as well as on the American economy. The industry employs more than 10,000 workers throughout the country, all of whom rely on the effective enforcement of our trade laws."

Cochran and Wicker have for years actively worked to pressure the federal government and other agencies to extend and maintain antidumping duties imposed on steel products imported on an unfair basis from countries like Turkey, Mexico, China, Indonesia, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Moldova and Poland.


2/5/16

Posted February 8, 2016 - 6:00 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Mississippi House of Representatives Weekly Summary

Week of February 1, 2016

On the first day of the 2016 Session, members voted to change the makeup of the House Management and Rules committees.

For years, the Management committee was comprised of two members from each of the five Congressional districts. With Mississippi actually having four districts, House members voted to change the makeup of Management to accurately reflect the current Congressional district number. This week, Management and Rules met with all members of each of the four districts to review basic housekeeping issues.

With the naming of House committees at the end of last week, the first part of this week was devoted to committee organization. Rules; Appropriations; Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency; Ways and Means; Education; Insurance; Public Property; Public Utilities; Transportation and Youth and Family Affairs all met to welcome new committee members and provide overviews of each committee’s responsibilities and rules. The remaining committees will meet in the coming days to organize for the term.

Inclement weather was a concern again for many members this week. Tornadoes and flooding damaged areas in the counties of Copiah, Franklin, Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Rankin, Simpson and Scott.

Darrin Webb, the State Economist, met with Appropriations members to provide the latest economic outlook for Mississippi. He said the state’s economy is growing, but at a slower pace than the rest of the country.

The Legislative Budget Office (LBO) also presented highlights of the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget to the Appropriations committee. LBO members emphasized that in FY17, there are no across-the-board budget cuts; only recurring funds are being used to support recurring expenditures; the continued suspension of the two percent set aside and a remaining amount of $393 million in the Working Cash Stabilization Reserve Fund.

Wednesday, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves both adjourned their respective chambers until Monday due to Governor Bryant calling an extraordinary, or special session, to occur on Thursday. A special session is a meeting of legislative bodies outside of the normal, regular session. It typically expedites the legislative process to focus on one particular issue.

Therefore, on Thursday, members discussed a bill related to two economic development projects.

“Project Potter,” involving a tire production company, would be a $1.45 billion company investment, bringing 2,500 jobs to the Central Mississippi area. This project has been in the works since 2014. “Project Crawfish” would be a $68 million company investment by a privately-held global maritime company based in Louisiana, slated to bring 1,000 jobs to the Port of Gulfport.

Incentives for both projects include provisions for workforce development training and infrastructure improvements. Both companies plan to hire locally and utilize Mississippi contractors for at least 70 percent of construction.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 118-3, making it the largest job creation bill in the state’s history. The Senate subsequently passed the bill without making any changes, and the Governor is expected to sign it into law.

Monday, February 8, marks the deadline for the “introduction of general bills and constitutional amendments.” To “introduce a bill,” a member submits the legislation to the Clerk’s Office, the drop box on the House floor or to the Speaker’s Office. Once bills have been introduced, they are referred to committees. Members and staff spent many hours drafting legislation and introducing bills.

Over the next few weeks, members will focus their attention on meeting the February 23 deadline to report bills out of committee. Committee members discuss the bills and decide to either pass them to the House floor or to oppose them, essentially “killing” them. If a bill does not make it out of a committee, it will not make it to the House calendar.


2/4/16

Posted February 5, 2016 - 6:37 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Congressional Candidate Files Complaint Against Party



Olive Branch, Miss. The campaign of District 1 congressional candidate Paul Clever has sent a formal complaint to the Mississippi Republican Party.

Clever is vying for the Republican nomination versus incumbent Cong. Trent Kelly. The election is Mar. 8.

The Clever campaign is alleging inappropriate fundraising and endorsement between the Lafayette County GOP and Kelly.



WTOK
2/4/16



Posted February 5, 2016 - 6:32 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Wicker: Close the Broadband Gap Between Rural, Urban America

Miss. Senator Chairs Hearing to Examine Funding for Rural Communications



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, today conducted a hearing to examine funding for rural communications. The hearing included a discussion about the future of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Connect America Fund and Mobility Fund, components of the Universal Service Fund (USF). Mr. Darrington Seward, Managing Partner of Seward and Son Planting Company in Louise, Mississippi, testified at the hearing.



“The goal of the Universal Service Fund when it was created in 1996 was to ensure reliable communications services for all Americans,” Wicker said. “Since then, we have witnessed unparalleled advancements in technology and a new competitive landscape. Although positive strides have certainly been made across the country, deployment to rural areas still lags behind.”



In recent years, FCC has made a number of reforms to the USF aimed at transitioning the Fund to support broadband. However, more improvements are needed to reach rural areas. In particular, FCC should consider leveling the USF playing field across technological platforms upon which broadband can be delivered and ensure that rural Americans have access to all the advances available from mobile broadband.


"Mississippi is ahead of the innovation curve in areas like telehealth and precision agriculture,” Wicker continued. “Expanding access to wireless connectivity would enable others to also take advantage of these new technologies. As consumer demand for broadband continues to grow, we should work to close the gaps between rural and urban America.”



2/4/16

Posted February 5, 2016 - 6:29 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:

COCHRAN COSPONSORS FARM CREDIT CENTENNIAL RESOLUTION

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) this week cosponsored a resolution recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Farm Credit System, the network of independently-owned cooperatives dedicated to meeting the credit and financial needs of rural communities in Mississippi and around the country.

Cochran, a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, cosponsored the resolution as representatives from Southern AgCredit were in Washington for an annual Farm Credit Council meeting. Mississippians meeting with Cochran included (left to right in photo) Joe Hayman of Ridgeland, Bryan "Scott" Bell of Lena, Kevin Rhodes of Pelahatchie, and Brad Bean of Liberty.

Cochran is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan S.Res.349, which acknowledges the Farm Credit System's "role in the success of United States agriculture and economic vibrancy of rural communities" and its support for "the next generation of agriculture producers." The Farm Credit System provides billions of dollars in loans annually to support agriculture producers and rural communities. It also provides financial support for organizations such as 4-H and FFA.

The state's agriculture interests were also represented in the U.S. Capitol this week by members of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, whom Cochran also addressed. In addition, the Senator received a 2015 Legislator of the Year Award from the Agriculture Retailers Association.


2/4/16

Posted February 5, 2016 - 6:27 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Palazzo Named Co-Chairman of House Aerospace Caucus

Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4) released a statement today after being named Co-Chairman of the House Aerospace Caucus.

“I’m honored to be selected for this opportunity to serve as the voice for the aerospace and defense industry in Congress. As the Representative for South Mississippi, home of Stennis Space Center and Keesler Air Force Base, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside this industry in an effective partnership for many years. I understand the vital role this industry plays in our country’s economic stability, technological advancement and ability to compete globally, and most importantly our national security efforts.”

“Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) is delighted that Congressman Steven Palazzo has agreed to serve as one of the House Aerospace Caucus co-chairs,” said AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher. “He is an enthusiastic supporter of the aerospace and defense industry, and his service in the House on the Appropriations Committee and as part of the Majority Whip Team will be key to addressing the difficult issues facing our nation and our industry.”
The House Aerospace Caucus consists of more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The aerospace industry touches almost every state in the country and is a leading contributor to the world’s safety and security, global travel, beyond earth exploration, and domestic economy in the United States. The aerospace industry in the United States employs more than one million workers across all 50 states. It is also the nation’s largest net exporter and one of the biggest contributors to the annual U.S. GDP.


2/3/16

Posted February 5, 2016 - 6:25 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Mississippi AG Declares DFS Illegal



The Mississippi Attorney General has just ruled that daily fantasy sports wagering is illegal, in so doing adding the Magnolia State to a growing number of other US constituents that also see the game as a violation of their gambling laws. Other include Illinois, Hawaii, New York, Nevada, Texas, and Vermont.

After carefully examining daily fantasy sports, AG Jim Hood assessed that the game was similar to sports betting and horseracing, both of which are against the law in Mississippi. Commenting on the issue, Hood stated:

“In either case, winners are selected based on the tally of points earned by the athletes. This method of play is similar to betting on a horse race of making a parlay bet. It is different from betting on the outcome of a regular football game only in that the player can choose from any number of hypothetical ‘teams’ which the player can possibly pick or create, rather than being limited to picking from the teams available as they actually exist in the NFL.”



Online Poker
2/4/16




Posted February 5, 2016 - 6:21 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Vassallo, Scruggs Debate: Should the U.S. Cut Back on Foreign Aid?



Dickie Scruggs: Foreign aid is an inexpensive ounce of prevention that is vital to our global defense strategy.

It is surprising to most that barely 1% of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. And yet it is probably the smartest money America spends. Ronald Reagan certainly thought so, remarking that, “[t]he ultimate importance to the United States of our security and development assistance programs cannot be exaggerated.”



Hotty Toddy
2/4/16



Posted February 5, 2016 - 6:18 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





A total of six legislators - three from each chamber - voted against the Continental Tire and TopShip 3,500 job economic development incentive packages proposed but Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority in Thursday's special session.

They are:

House of Representatives - Rep. Bill Shirley (R), Rep. Joel Bomgar (R), and Rep. Steve Horne (R)

Senate - Sen. John Polk (R), Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), and Sen. Deborah Dawkins (D)


2/4/16

Posted February 5, 2016 - 6:06 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Borrowing, tax breaks approved for tire plant, shipyard



Mississippi lawmakers have agreed to borrow $274 million and provide millions in tax breaks to land a tire plant in Hinds County and a shipyard in Gulfport expected to create a combined 3,500 jobs.

Continental Tire the Americas plans to begin in January 2018 building a $1.45 billion, 5 million-square-foot plant to make industrial tires. As part of its deal with the state, the plant off Interstate 20 between Clinton and Bolton will employ 500 people by the time it opens in 2019 and 2,500 people by 2028...



...Edison Chouest of Louisiana plans to invest $68 million in its Topship yard on the Industrial Seaway in Gulfport, part of the State Port of Gulfport’s planned “inland port” expansion. Topship makes service and supply vessels for offshore oil and gas exploration rigs. The company plans to complete construction by 2018 and create 1,000 jobs.

Bryant and Mississippi Development Authority Director Glenn McCullough Jr. said the combined projects mark the biggest single day in economic development in state history.



ClarionLedger
2/4/16



Posted February 5, 2016 - 6:01 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Mississippi needs to pass this craft beer legislation

The case the guild is trying to make — that these changes will spur economic growth in the region — is not difficult to make. For one, we refer you to this infographic that summed up the positive economics of the Mississippi brewing industry, courtesy of the Mississippi Brewers Guild:



Craft Brewing Business
2/4/16

Posted February 4, 2016 - 2:24 pm

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Bill Proposes Salary Cut, Moving Funds into Schools



Senate Bill 2069 proposed by Senator Joey Fillingane, reads that the salary of the State Superintendent of Education shall not exceed that of the Governor.

Current state superintendent Carey Wright’s current base salary sits at $307,125. If this bill were to pass, effective July 1, 2016, her pay could not exceed that of the governor. The current base salary for the governor in the Magnolia state is $122,160. That’s a nearly $185,000

This bill in similar fashion has been proposed and died twice before; once in 2011 and again in last year’s legislative session.



NewsMS
2/3/16



Posted February 4, 2016 - 6:08 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Sid Salter: Mississippi's GOP owes success to Carmichael




Among Republicans, Carmichael will also be remembered as a pivotal supporter of Gerald Ford over Ronald Reagan at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City. The Mississippi delegation famously split over the choice, but the “unit rule” required that the candidate who had the support of the majority of the state's 30 delegates got all 30 votes — killing Reagan’s nomination.

Some old guard Republicans in the state carried enmity over that split for the rest of their lives.

But moderate or conservative, Carmichael’s role as a Mississippi Republican Party pioneer is undeniable, and history should regard Carmichael as a man of principle and integrity who refused to engage in the easy and mean-spirited politics of race or class.



ClarionLedger
2/3/16



Posted February 4, 2016 - 5:56 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Gov. Phil Bryant is calling a special session beginning Thursday to consider incentives for two economic development projects pursued by the state of Mississippi




State Senate President Pro Tem Terry Burton, a Newton Republican, says the two projects are projected to total more than $1.5 billion in capital investment and more than 3,500 jobs...



...The Clarion-Ledger reports the larger of the two projects, on a site in western Hinds County, is a tire plant to be constructed by Continental AG. Continental hasn't returned requests for comments by The Associated Press.

The Clarion-Ledger reports the smaller project aids a Gulfport shipyard operated by an affiliate of Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore.




Daily Journal
2/3/16



Posted February 4, 2016 - 5:50 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Wicker Meets With Army Gen. John Campbell

Miss. Senator Discuss Situation in Afghanistan With Top U.S. Commander



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today sat down with the Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell, to continue discussions of the ongoing situation there.



“Gen. Campbell and I discussed the importance of maintaining our resolve and finishing our mission in Afghanistan,” Wicker said. “Taliban insurgents now control more territory in Afghanistan than at any point since 2001. We must continue to nurture political reconciliation in the country and further modernize the Afghan Security Forces. I am hopeful that Gen. Campbell’s successor will speak truth to power and will follow his example by making decisions based on conditions on the ground. I believe that Afghanistan can be an enduring success story for Americans, but only if we avoid the mistakes we have made elsewhere.”



The Department of Defense announced last month that Army Lt. Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson was nominated to succeed Gen. Campbell, taking command of U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan. Gen. Nicholson is currently the commander at NATO’s Allied Land Command in Turkey. He served as commanding officer of the 82nd Airborne Division from 2012 to 2014 and deputy commanding general for operations in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012.



“I want to congratulate Gen. Campbell on his impending retirement,” Wicker continued. “We owe a great deal of thanks to him for his 37 years of sacrifice and service as an officer in the United States Army.”



Gen. Campbell is scheduled to testify on February 4, 2016 at 10:00am ET at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.




2/3/16

Posted February 4, 2016 - 5:47 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Women should be allowed in military draft, say top officials




Two top US military officials said that women should be eligible for the draft.

On Tuesday, Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army, and Gen. Robert B. Neller, Marine Corps commandant, testified in front of a Senate Armed Services Committee and expressed opinions that women should be required to register for a military draft. The comments came in response to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri, who asked a question concerning the possible change.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy were also at the hearing and stated their support for continued discussion on the topic. Gen. Milley’s and Gen. Neller’s comments are the first time top military officials have publicly supported integrating women into the draft.




Christian Science Monitor
2/3/16



Posted February 4, 2016 - 5:44 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





BAIL BONDMEN REGULATION
An op-ed from Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney

Fortunately, most Mississippians go through life without ever having a need to be bailed out of jail.

Unfortunately, there are times when our citizens do have need of someone to post bail and I’m sure you have at least a small understanding of how that process works. Someone gets arrested and taken to jail. A bond is set in an amount of money suited to what they were arrested for. Now they have a choice. They can either remain in jail until they see a judge and a final resolution of their case is worked out, or they can pay the cash bail and be released until their court date. Many times, however, they find they cannot afford to pay the entire bail amount, so they go to what we normally call a bail bondsman or bail agent. The incarcerated person pays the bail bondsman a percentage of their bail and the bondsman guarantees their appearance in court at the appropriate time and they are released “on bond.”

Let me be clear that I am not indicting the entire bail bond profession with what I say next. There are many, many bail bondsmen or agents that do their job honorably, fairly and with a sense of compassion.

However, there are bad apples in every profession and this is true of bail bondsmen as well. Lately here in Mississippi some of those bad apples have caused some major problems. In addition to outright fraud, we have had agents accused of forcing people into prostitution, human trafficking, sexual extortion, kidnapping and armed robbery.

In fact, the unscrupulous bondsmen are giving the industry a very bad reputation for corruption and our state has limited statutory authority to regulate them.


We also have a major problem with some of the bail bondsmen not paying the courts when they fail to produce their clients for court. Presently in Mississippi we have more than $1.8 million owed to our court system by bail bondsmen who simply won’t pay. I’ll touch more on this aspect later.

In the 2016 legislative session I will be seeking legislation that will address several issues in the hopes of bringing increased regulatory authority over the bail bond industry.

First, the legislation will create an Electronic Bondsman Registry that will require all bondsmen to register with the department and allow the department to create an online registry that will allow the courts, sheriffs, municipal and state police to quickly and easily verify that a person actually holds a valid bail bondsman license in our state.

Currently a license can be checked online but the registry will bring more transparency by allowing an interested party to check not only the license, but the type of bail bonds an agent is licensed to issue.

The bill will establish a Bail Bond Database which will list every written bond issued in the state. Bondsmen will have to register every bond within a certain period of time and also will be required to provide information such as the amount of the bond, when it was satisfied, if it was financed and what type of security or collateral is required.

Now we get back to the money owed to the courts. Quite simply, in Mississippi, we have never required bail agents to carry enough collateral to cover the amount of bonds written. Currently, it is possible to write an unlimited amount of bail bonds with a security deposit of only $30,000. It is very easy for a bail bondsman to get over-extended with that small amount of security.

So in the legislation we attempt to rectify this by implementing a sliding scale for security required. Quite simply, bail bondsmen will be required to up the security and collateral based upon the amount of bonds they write, with certain modifications.

Understand that when I say the money is owed to the courts that means the courts in the counties where the failure on the defaulted bond took place. This money is owed to your county or city and it should be paid. Taxpayers should not be asked to take up the slack for someone who simply fails to pay what they legally owe.

I recognize this may not be a high priority item for many Mississippians. And quite honestly there are some people who should be in jail and not released on bond. My concern, however, is that where a court sets bail an individual should be able to engage an honest bail bondsman and not forced into prostitution, drug dealing or other crimes to pay for their bail.

While the steps I am seeking will not solve all of our problems in this area, it will be a good start. If I, as a regulator, ignore these major offenses, I am not fulfilling my duty to protect ALL the citizens of our state.

By seeking this legislation we are simply adding more accountability to the bail bond industry, something the industry should welcome under these circumstances. An honest industry does not fight accountability. They welcome it. Any attempt to clean up an industry and make sure everyone is operating legally is not government intrusion; it is government operating the way it is intended to.


Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney
2/3/16

Posted February 3, 2016 - 3:08 pm

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


COCHRAN, WICKER, HARPER ACT TO ENHANCE TELEHEALTH SERVICES, BROADEN PATIENT ACCESS & CARE

Bipartisan “CONNECT for Health Act” Would Help Mississippi Build on Growing Telehealth Services to Rural & Underserved Areas

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) today announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation that seeks to broaden access to telehealth services under Medicare, make it easier for patients to connect with their providers, and cut health care costs.

The Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act is intended to broaden the availability and affordability of telehealth services. Mississippi is a national leader in the implementation of telehealth technologies. According to studies, telehealth and remote patient monitoring are shown to improve care and reduce hospitalizations, especially in rural and underserved areas.

“I am proud that Mississippi is a national leader in telehealth. We have improved access, cut costs and increased health care for patients in all corners of our state. These achievements are possible because of our statewide telehealth reimbursement laws. The legislation we are introducing will apply the lessons we’ve learned in Mississippi to the entire nation to improve patient access to health care providers and to save taxpayer dollars,” Cochran said.

“Mississippi has long been on the cutting edge of health-care technologies,” Wicker said. “Connecting people with medical professionals through telehealth and remote patient monitoring provides quality and timely care, helps seniors manage their health, and delivers cost savings. This bill seeks to replicate the success that we have made in Mississippi using this technology for patients across the country.”

Along with Cochran and Wicker, the CONNECT for Health Act was developed and sponsored by Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.). Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives with Harper as an original cosponsor.

“I applaud the bicameral and bipartisan work being done in both chambers of Congress to craft legislation that will help expand the use of telehealth technologies to better serve patients and save taxpayer dollars,” said Harper. “Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring are incredibly promising technologies, but until we give providers the ability to transition and meet the goals set forth in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, Medicare patients will continue to struggle to take part in these advancements. This legislation will promote cost savings and will increase the quality of care in the Medicare program.”

The CONNECT for Health Act would increase telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) services in community health centers and rural health clinics, and make telehealth and RPM basic benefits in the Medicare Advantage program. The bill would also expand the use of RPM for certain patients with chronic conditions.

In addition, the CONNECT for Health Act would create a program to help health care providers meet the goals of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System through the use of telehealth programs.

For Mississippi, the bill could help the state increase its significant gains in telehealth services, primarily through the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) Center for Telehealth. Overall, the UMMC Center for Telehealth has a total of 209 telehealth sites of service in 62 of Mississippi’s 82 counties. The center has completed more than half a million telehealth consults since the program began in 2003.

The center also runs a first-of-its-kind Diabetes Telehealth Network in Sunflower County, operates a telehealth network with 15 rural Mississippi hospitals focusing on emergency medicine, and connects with portable medical carts in rural hospitals and clinics to allow medical center specialists to care for patients. The UMMC program additionally maintains telehealth service connections between the University of Southern Mississippi’s campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach.

The CONNECT for Health Act is supported by the UMMC Center for Telehealth, the American Telemedicine Association, the American Medical Association and numerous other medical and health care advocacy organizations.


2/3/16

Posted February 3, 2016 - 11:22 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Bryant Message to College Students: Stay in Mississippi for Career



Gov. Phil Bryant is imploring high-achieving college students to stay in Mississippi and build their careers.

Bryant spoke to more than 100 students, parents and university and community college faculty members Tuesday. They were at the Capitol for an annual event honoring academic success.



WTOK
2/2/16



Posted February 3, 2016 - 6:26 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Mississippi Power says Kemper will cost more, take longer



Mississippi Power on Tuesday added two months and $110 million toward getting the lignite portion of its Kemper County power plant operational.

In the December report to the state Public Service Commission, Mississippi Power increased its cost estimate by $110 million. The company said $40 million of that is for charges related to startup and commissioning activities in December, including repairs and modifications to the refractory lining inside the gasifiers, and $70 million for the extension of the expected start date from the end of June to the end of August.

The company says it expects the lignite startup by Aug. 31.



SunHerald
2/2/16



Posted February 3, 2016 - 6:18 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Attaboy's and Oh Boy's for Feb. 3



Oh Boy!

To the bill pending in the Mississippi Legislature that would relocate the Department of Public Safety to Rankin County. First, the proposal from state Sen. Dean Kirby, R-Pearl, would require a bond issue at a time when the state is struggling to make ends meet during a projected budget shortfall. Secondly, a call to move yet another state agency out of the capital city serves only a few with local interest and not all the citizens of the state. Centralization of Mississippi agencies is a convenience to the taxpayers requiring services, those with agency oversight, i.e. the Legislature — housed in the center of Jackson — and a key part in revitalizing downtowns (see Baton Rouge, Montgomery). We make no argument against an improved, safer facility. But we take issue with another attempt to outsource state agencies to other counties.



ClarionLedger
2/2/16




Posted February 3, 2016 - 6:13 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Palazzo Votes to Override President’s Veto

Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4) released a statement today after the House voted to override the president’s veto of H.R. 3762.

“After seven long years, last month Congress finally sent a bill to the president’s desk that strips funding from Obamacare as well as Planned Parenthood. Not surprisingly, the president vetoed this bill. Today, we continued to voice the will of the American people by voting to override the president’s veto. Furthermore, this proves that without a doubt Congress has the power to repeal Obamacare once we have a Republican in the White House.”


2/2/16

Posted February 3, 2016 - 6:10 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.








WTVA
2/2/16

Posted February 3, 2016 - 6:08 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Gulf Coast legislator selected as House leader



JACKSON – David Baria, a Bay St.Louis attorney and small business owner, has been selected by the minority party in the Mississippi House to serve as its leader....


...“We have to do a better job with our messaging. It appears the default position for Mississippians right now is to vote Republican because Republicans have been better at messaging, but I don’t think they have been better at governing.”

Rep. Jay Hughes, an Oxford freshman, also vied for the post.



Daily Journal
2/2/16




Posted February 3, 2016 - 6:03 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





State Rep. Steve Holland is back at the Mississippi Capitol, less than two weeks after undergoing surgery to repair an abdominal hernia



JACKSON, Mississippi — State Rep. Steve Holland is back at the Mississippi Capitol, less than two weeks after having surgery to repair an abdominal hernia.

The 60-year-old Democrat from Plantersville returned to work Monday and said he feels fine.




Daily Journal
2/2/16



Posted February 3, 2016 - 5:59 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Mississippi Democrats announced the following House Minority Executive Committee this afternoon:

House Minority Leader
Rep. David Baria (D-Bay St. Louis)

House Assistant Minority Leader
Rep. Robert Johnson (D-Natchez)

House Minority Secretary/Treasurer
Rep. Jeramey Anderson (D-Moss Point)

House Minority Communications Liaison
Rep. John Faulkner (D-Holly Springs)

House Minority Whip(s)
Rep. Chris Bell (D-Jackson)
Rep. Adrianne Wooten (D-Jackson)
Rep. Kathy Sykes (D-Jackson)
Rep. Oscer Denton (D-Vicksburg)



2/2/16

Posted February 2, 2016 - 5:56 pm

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi


WLOX
2/1/16

Posted February 2, 2016 - 6:26 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi


WLOX
2/1/16

Posted February 2, 2016 - 6:22 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi


WLOX
2/1/16

Posted February 2, 2016 - 6:20 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.







2/1/16

Posted February 2, 2016 - 6:17 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS


WLBT
2/1/16

Posted February 2, 2016 - 6:13 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Miss. Legislature cutting 2 weeks off session



Instead of meeting four months as they usually do to start a term, lawmakers will meet three and a half months.

The session originally was set to end May 8. Under operating rules adopted by the House and Senate, the new ending date is April 24.



ClarionLedger
2/1/16



Posted February 2, 2016 - 6:04 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


Wicker Statement on the Passing of Gil Carmichael



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., issued the following statement regarding the death of Gil Carmichael:



“Mississippians have lost a great man. Gil Carmichael was a brave, innovative, and forward-thinking leader who contributed to the success of our state. His valor as a member of the Coast Guard in 1952, helped save the lives of 70 men caught in a storm off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. That dramatic rescue has inspired generations of Guardsmen and was recently memorialized in the film ‘The Finest Hours.’



“As a Republican pioneer in Mississippi, Gil took up the GOP standard at a time when many were reluctant to understand the importance of the two-party system. For the past 30 years, he has been an authoritative voice on our nation’s rail infrastructure. I was grateful to have his advice and counsel last year when I authored legislation to reform and improve America’s railways. Our nation is a better place today because of Gil Carmichael.



“Gayle and I have been personal friends of his for 44 years. We will miss him and his wise counsel.”


2/1/16

Posted February 2, 2016 - 6:03 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Bryant says he’d sign corporate franchise tax cut

Despite what he said in the speech, Bryant has voiced support for eliminating the franchise tax in the past, and spokesman Clay Chandler said he would sign a bill cutting it.

“The governor favors tax relief for the hard-working people of this state but is not opposed to a scheduled franchise tax reduction,” Chandler said.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said he sees no conflict with Bryant’s goals. In addition to cutting franchise taxes, Reeves last year proposed eliminating the 3 percent and 4 percent personal income tax brackets, which would have phased in income tax cuts of up to $350 a year for individuals making at least $18,300 a year.

“My view is, it doesn’t have to be an either-or scenario. It could be both-and,” Reeves said Wednesday.

Reeves has said lawmakers should lock in long-term tax cuts this year, even though Mississippi has a shortfall that will make it harder for lawmakers to write a spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1. That could mean no immediate tax cuts, though, a possibility Bryant alluded to in the State of the State.

“It may not be this year, but when we are having surpluses and a full savings account, let’s pledge to give the people back a portion of their hard-earned tax dollars,” Bryant said.


MBJ/AP
2/1/16

Posted February 1, 2016 - 9:57 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:


TRIBUTE TO GIL CARMICHAEL -- (CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Senate - January 28, 2016)

Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, this weekend, Disney Pictures will release "The Finest Hours," a cinematic retelling of a 1952 Coast Guard rescue mission off the New England coast. I am pleased to use its release as an opportunity to commend Mr. Gil Carmichael of Meridian, MS, an important participant in this mission, for his bravery during that storm and for a lifetime of service to the State of Mississippi and the Nation. Mr. Carmichael, an ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard at the time, was awarded the Silver Life-Saving Medal for his heroic actions during that rescue mission.

A 1952 Coast Guard news release described the rescue:

FOR RELEASE AT 10: 30 A.M., MAY 14, 1952

Twenty-one Coast Guardsmen were decorated today by Edward H. Foley, Under Secretary of the Treasury, and Vice Admiral Merlin O'Neill, Coast Guard Commandant, for the rescue of 70 men in a heavy storm at sea Feb. 18-19.

The rescued men were crew members of the tankers SS FORT MERCER and SS PENDLETON which broke in two in 70-knot winds and 60-foot seas off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass.

The group ceremony was held in the Treasury before members of Congress and high ranking Coast Guard officers. Members of Congress from the homes of each man decorated, and members of committees which handle Coast Guard legislation, also were invited.

Also present were William B. St. John of the National Bulk Carriers, Inc., owner of the PENDELTON, and C.A. Thomas, W.G. Johnson and P.J. Clausen of the Trinidad Corp., owner of the FORT MERCER.

Admiral O'Neill described the Cape Cod rescue operations as unique in Coast Guard history. With each tanker broken in two forty miles apart, four hulks with survivors aboard were left adrift in the mountainous seas.

He said all types of rescue equipment were used including large Coast Guard cutters, an airplane, an ocean-going tug, motor lifeboats, radar, rubber liferafts, scramble nets, lifelines and exposure suits.

"But most of all," said Admiral O'Neill, "the situation called for raw courage and skill of the highest order--backed by Coast Guard teamwork."

Five of the men received the Treasury's Gold Life-saving Medal for "extreme and heroic daring." Four others received the Treasury's Silver Life-saving Medal for "heroic action." Fifteen were cited for "courage, initiative and unswerving devotion to duty" and authorized to wear the Coast Guard Commendation ribbon. Those decorated were:

Gold Life-Saving Medal:

Andrew J. Fitzgerald, Engineman 2nd class; Ervin E. Maske, Seaman; Bernard C. Webber, Boatswain's Mate 1st class; Richard P. Livesey, Seaman; Ensign William R. Kiely, Jr.

Silver Life-Saving Medal:

Paul R. Black, Engineman 2nd class; Ensign Gilbert E. Carmichael; Edward A. Mason, Jr., Apprentice Seaman; Webster G. Terwilliger, Seaman

Coast Guard Commendation Ribbon:

Antonio F. Ballerini, Boatswain's Mate 3rd class provisional; Donald H. Bangs, Boatswain's Mate Chief; Richard J. Ciccone, Seaman; John J. Courtney, Boatswain's Mate 3rd class; John F. Dunn, Engineman 1st class; Philip M. Griebel, Radioman 1st class; Emory H. Haynes, Engineman 1st class; Roland W. Hoffert, Gunner's Mate 3rd class; Eugene W. Korpusik, Seaman Apprentice; Ralph L. Ormsby, Boatswain's Mate Chief; Dennis J. Perry, Seaman; Donald E. Pitts, Seaman; Alfred J. Roy, Boatswain's Mate 1st class; Herman M. Rubinsky, Seaman Apprentice; LCDR John N. Joseph

A nor'easter is a remarkable event in any era. The 1952 winter storm spawned hurricane-force winds and waves as tall as most of the office buildings at the time. The brave members of our Coast Guard raced into this dangerous situation to locate two large tankers that had broken in two and to rescue 70 men facing nearly certain death.

When asked about the rescue, a selfless Mr. Carmichael, who was in charge of a rescue boat that rescued two men from the bow of the SS Fort Mercer that day, said, "I learned early in life how I would behave in crisis. I knew when we put the boat over we could be killed but all of us were just thinking about trying to save lives rather than of our own safety."

Gil Carmichael took the remarkable experience he gained in the Coast Guard and continued on the path of public service, later for statewide office in Mississippi in the 1960s, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1972, twice for Governor in 1975 and 1979, and once for Lieutenant Governor in 1983. He also served as a delegate from Mississippi to the Republican National Convention. In 1973, he was appointed to the National Highway Safety Advisory Committee and became chairman of the advisory committee until 1976. From 1976 to 1979, he was a Federal commissioner for the National Transportation Policy Study Commission. He became Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration in 1989 and served until 1993. He later served as chairman of the Amtrak Reform Council.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge Mr. Carmichael whose selfless personal qualities reflect a great deal of credit on my State and this Nation.


1/28/16

Posted February 1, 2016 - 6:39 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





BILL CRAWFORD — Fuel tax issue will show Republicans can lead, or not




As every knows, Mississippi has a road and bridge crisis.

“I see first-hand that we are on the verge of losing our competitive edge,” says Joe F. Sanderson, Chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms and chair of a special Blueprint Mississippi task force. “Roads across our state are beginning to crumble. Bridges aren’t safe.”

The solution is quite simple, as pointed out by the task force, raise user fees and taxes on fuel to provide the money needed to fix our roads and bridges.

But, as everyone knows, the political will among Republican legislators to raise any fees or taxes is virtually non-existent.

If the Republican majority cannot provide the strong leadership needed to resolve this critical infrastructure problem, we can expect many highly political decisions, but few good government decisions from them over the next four years.



MBJ
1/31/16



Posted February 1, 2016 - 6:33 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Governor Phil Bryant On Budget Cuts



Governor Phil Bryant doesn’t expect the cuts to be as damaging as the great recession was in 2008, nor does he predict any future job layoffs.

“My job is to make sure we have a good balanced budget in the state of Mississippi, and if it takes those cuts to do it, I’m going to exercise that authority,” said Republican Governor Phil Bryant.

Currently, revenue is about 1 percent below the projections used for the current year’s budget. The current fiscal year will end in June.



WCBI
1/30/16



Posted February 1, 2016 - 6:30 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi


WLOX
1/30/16

Posted February 1, 2016 - 6:26 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Jimmie Gates: What will be Gov. Phil Bryant's legacy?




It’s worth noting one of the loudest applause Bryant received during the State of the State was when he introduced Chandler in the gallery and thanked him for taking on the task to try to improve the state’s foster case system.

If Bryant is successful in reforming the foster care system, his legacy will be secured.

The one thing that can be said is Bryant and other state officials should have been working to reform the system a long time ago, not waiting until being faced with the federal court forcing the state to take action if the state doesn’t make reforms a priority.

A key in Bryant’s legacy-building may be if he decides in his remaining years in office to do something un-Phil like. Bryant has stuck with his Republican conservative base in his agenda during his first term. He hasn’t showed any tendencies that his last term will be any different.




ClarionLedger
1/30/16



Posted February 1, 2016 - 6:20 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





New state voting laws face first presidential election test


Mississippi’s 2012 voter ID law didn't hamper participation in last year’s governor’s race, according to Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

The law requires would-be voters to show one of 10 forms of photo ID. Eligible IDs include a driver's license, a firearms license, a passport, and any state or federal government ID bearing a photo.

​Hosemann said Mississippi is the only state that wasn't sued by the Justice Department over its voter ID law, "because we did it right.’’

“President Obama doesn’t have to come here to talk about voter ID because that’s in our rearview mirror … We’re moving on,’’ he said.



ClarionLedger
1/30/16




Posted February 1, 2016 - 6:16 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





GEOFF PENDER: Gunn no longer a ferret herder in House



Republican Speaker Philip Gunn last week moved to shore up his power in the House.

He named only two Democrats — both of whom frequently vote with the GOP leadership on key votes — to chair committees for the new term. House Republicans are also proposing tweaks to joint rules that could thwart minority power in legislating.

This should come as no surprise. To the victor belong the spoils (a term coined by Democrats, it should be noted). And the House GOP pulled off a rout in November, gaining seven seats and a first in modern history three-fifths House supermajority.



ClarionLedger
1/30/16



Posted February 1, 2016 - 6:11 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





State Republican patriarch Gil Carmichael dead at 88



Mississippi Republican patriarch Gil Carmichael, twice the GOP nominee for governor, a former transportation adviser to President George H.W. Bush and successful businessman has passed away at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian.

He was 88...



...Carmichael, a successful car dealer and real estate developer, was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1972 against veteran Democrat James O. Eastland. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1975 and 1979 against Democratic nominees Cliff Finch and William Winter. His final race was in 1983 against Democratic Lieutenant Gov. Brad Dye.

"Gil Carmichael inspired a generation of Republicans in 1975 when he became a force in Mississippi politics," Gov. Phil Bryant said Sunday night. "I was one of them. He was a mentor and a friend and he will be missed."



ClarionLedger
1/31/16




Posted February 1, 2016 - 6:07 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Committee Appointments for
Accountability, Efficiency,Transparency (11)


​Appointees​

​C -​Jerry R. Turner​

​ ​V -​Robert Foster​

​ ​ ​William Tracy Arnold​

​ ​ ​Randy P. Boyd​

​ ​ ​Becky Currie​

​ ​Tyrone Ellis​

​ ​ ​Greg Haney​

​ ​ ​Jay Hughes​

​ ​ ​Doug McLeod​

​ ​ ​Tom Miles​

​ ​ ​Cory Wilson




Committee Appointments for
Agriculture (33)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Bill Pigott​

​ ​V -​Vince Mangold​

​ ​ ​Nick Bain​

​ ​ ​Manly Barton​​ ​

​ ​Donnie Bell​

​ ​ ​Lester Carpenter​

​ ​ ​Deborah Butler Dixon​

​ ​ ​Jarvis Dortch​

​ ​ ​Dan Eubanks​

​ ​Michael T. Evans​

​ ​ ​Robert Foster​

​ ​ ​Karl Gibbs​

​ ​ ​Andy Gipson​

​ ​ ​Gregory Holloway, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Mac Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Robert E. Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Lataisha Jackson​

​ ​ ​Chris Johnson​

​ ​Bill Kinkade​

​ ​ ​Timmy Ladner​

​ ​ ​John Thomas "Trey" Lamar, III​​

​ ​ ​Steve Massengill​

​ ​ ​Doug McLeod​

​ ​ ​Ken Morgan​

​ ​ ​Karl Oliver​​ ​

​ ​Orlando Paden​

​ ​ ​Noah Sanford​

​ ​Bobby Shows​

​ ​Gary V. Staples​​ ​

​ ​Preston E. Sullivan​

​ ​ ​Sara R. Thomas​

​ ​Jerry R. Turner​

​ ​ ​Kenneth Walker​




Committee Appointments for
Apportionment and Elections (17)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Bill Denny​​

​V -​Thomas U. Reynolds​

​ ​Willie Bailey​​ ​

​ ​Toby Barker​​ ​

​ ​Charles Jim Beckett​​

​ ​Edward Blackmon, Jr.​

​ ​ ​Bryant W. Clark​​ ​

​Angela Cockerham​

​ ​ ​Becky Currie​​

​ ​Tyrone Ellis​

​ ​ ​Jeff Hale​

​ ​ ​Ashley Henley​​ ​

​ ​Mac Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Robert E. Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Noah Sanford​

​ ​ ​Jason White​

​ ​ ​Cory Wilson​





Committee Appointments for
Appropriations (33)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Herb Frierson​​ ​

​V -​Mac Huddleston​

​ ​ ​William Tracy Arnold​

​ ​Earle S. Banks​

​ ​ ​Toby Barker​​ ​

​ ​Charles Jim Beckett​​ ​

​Richard Bennett​

​ ​ ​C. Scott Bounds​

​ ​ ​Chris Brown​

​ ​ ​Charles Busby​

​ ​Alyce G. Clarke​

​ ​Angela Cockerham​

​ ​ ​Linda F. Coleman​

​ ​ ​Becky Currie​

​ ​ ​Scott DeLano​

​ ​ ​Bill Denny​

​ ​ ​Casey Eure​

​ ​ ​Andy Gipson​

​ ​ ​D. Stephen Holland​

​ ​ ​Robert E. Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Timmy Ladner​

​ ​ ​Nolan Mettetal​

​ ​ ​Sam C. Mims, V​

​ ​ ​Alex Monsour

​ ​John L. Moore​​

​​David W. Myers​​ ​

​​John Read​

​ ​Bobby Shows​

​ ​ ​Greg Snowden​

​ ​Gary V. Staples​

​ ​ ​Preston E. Sullivan​

​ ​Jerry R. Turner​

​ ​Percy W. Watson​





Committee Appointments for
Banking and Financial Services (29)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Henry Zuber III​

​ ​V -​Kimberly L. Campbell​​ ​

​​Shane Aguirre​

​ ​ ​William Tracy Arnold​

​ ​ ​Mark Baker​​ ​ ​

​Charles Jim Beckett​

​ ​ ​Donnie Bell​

​ ​ ​C. Scott Bounds​​ ​

​ ​Chris Brown​

​ ​ ​Cedric Burnett​

​ ​ ​Larry Byrd​

​ ​ ​Lester Carpenter​

​ ​Alyce G. Clarke​

​ ​ ​Dan Eubanks​​ ​

​ ​Casey Eure​

​ ​ ​Bob Evans​

​ ​ ​Jeff Hale​

​ ​ ​John W. Hines, Sr.​

​ ​ ​D. Stephen Holland​

​ ​ ​Joey Hood​

​ ​ ​Kevin Horan​

​ ​ ​Chris Johnson​

​ ​ ​Nolan Mettetal​

​ ​ ​Margaret Rogers​

​ ​Ray Rogers​

​ ​Gary V. Staples​

​ ​ ​Kathy Sykes​

​ ​Jerry R. Turner​​ ​

​​Tom Weathersby​




Committee Appointments for
Compilation, Revision and Publication (7)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Philip Gunn​

​ ​ ​Kimberly L. Campbell​​

​​Angela Cockerham​​ ​

​ ​Andy Gipson​

​ ​Thomas U. Reynolds​

​ ​ ​Greg Snowden​

​ ​ ​Cory Wilson​




Committee Appointments for
Conservation and Water Resources (19)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​John Read​

​ ​V -​Bryant W. Clark​

​ ​ ​Shane Barnett​

​ ​ ​Manly Barton​

​ ​ ​Chris Brown​​ ​ ​

​Charles Busby​​ ​

​​Larry Byrd​

​ ​ ​Gary Chism​

​ ​ ​Casey Eure​

​ ​Michael T. Evans​

​ ​ ​D. Stephen Holland​​ ​ ​

​Vince Mangold​

​ ​ ​Carl Mickens​

​ ​ ​Ken Morgan​

​ ​ ​Bill Pigott​

​ ​ ​Preston E. Sullivan​

​ ​Jerry R. Turner​

​ ​ ​Kenneth Walker​​ ​ ​

​Cory Wilson​




Committee Appointments for
Constitution (15)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Brent Powell​

​ ​V -​Dana Criswell​

​ ​ ​Christopher Bell​

​ ​ ​Chris Brown​

​ ​ ​Bill Denny​

​ ​ ​Dan Eubanks​

​ ​ ​Robert Foster​​ ​

​​Ashley Henley​​ ​

​​Jay Hughes​

​ ​ ​Carl Mickens​

​ ​ ​America Chuck Middleton​​ ​

​​Alex Monsour​

​ ​Thomas U. Reynolds​

​ ​Jeffrey C. Smith​

​ ​ ​Jody Steverson​




Committee Appointments for
Corrections (17)



​Appointees​

​C -​Bill Kinkade​

​ ​V -​Linda F. Coleman​

​ ​ ​Joel Bomgar​

​ ​ ​Deborah Butler Dixon​

​ ​Tyrone Ellis​

​ ​ ​Ashley Henley​

​ ​ ​Kevin Horan​

​ ​ ​Robert E. Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Chris Johnson​

​ ​ ​Doug McLeod​

​ ​ ​Roun McNeal​

​ ​ ​Carl Mickens​

​ ​ ​Karl Oliver​

​ ​ ​Randy Rushing​

​​ ​Mark Tullos​

​ ​ ​Patricia H. Willis​

​ ​ ​Charles Young, Jr.​



Committee Appointments for
County Affairs (19)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Larry Byrd​​ ​

​V -​Roun McNeal​

​​ ​Willie Bailey​

​ ​ ​Manly Barton​

​ ​ ​Lester Carpenter​

​​ ​Linda F. Coleman​

​ ​ ​Andy Gipson​

​ ​ ​Steve Hopkins​

​ ​ ​Robert E. Huddleston​

​ ​ ​John Thomas "Trey" Lamar, III​​

​ ​Willie J. Perkins, Sr.​

​ ​Thomas U. Reynolds​

​ ​ ​Rob Roberson​

​ ​Ray Rogers​

​ ​ ​Randy Rushing​

​ ​ ​Noah Sanford​

​ ​Bobby Shows​

​ ​ ​Preston E. Sullivan​

​ ​Mark Tullos​




Committee Appointments for
Drug Policy (15)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Patricia H. Willis​

​V -​Alyce G. Clarke​

​ ​ ​William Tracy Arnold​

​ ​ ​Christopher Bell​

​ ​ ​Joel Bomgar​

​ ​ ​Dana Criswell​

​ ​ ​Oscar Denton​

​ ​ ​Jeff Hale​

​ ​ ​Joey Hood​

​ ​ ​Kevin Horan​

​ ​ ​Kabir Karriem​

​ ​ ​Sam C. Mims, V​

​ ​ ​Karl Oliver​

​ ​ ​Kathy Sykes​

​ ​ ​Brad Touchstone​



Committee Appointments for
Education (31)


​Appointees​

​C -​John L. Moore​

​ ​V -​Rob Roberson​

​ ​ ​Toby Barker​

​ ​ ​Richard Bennett​

​ ​ ​Joel Bomgar​

​ ​ ​Randy P. Boyd​

​ ​ ​Charles Busby​

​ ​Credell Calhoun​

​ ​ ​Gary Chism​

​ ​Alyce G. Clarke​

​ ​ ​Carolyn Crawford​

​ ​ ​Dana Criswell​

​ ​ ​Becky Currie​

​ ​ ​Scott DeLano​

​ ​ ​Jarvis Dortch​​

​ ​ ​Bob Evans​

​ ​Mark Formby​

​ ​ ​Herb Frierson​

​ ​ ​Jeffrey S. Guice​

​ ​ ​Ashley Henley​

​ ​ ​Gregory Holloway, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Steve Hopkins​

​ ​ ​Chris Johnson​

​ ​ ​Vince Mangold​

​ ​ ​Carl Mickens​

​ ​ ​Orlando Paden​

​ ​ ​Rufus Straughter​

​ ​ ​Sara R. Thomas​

​ ​ ​Brad Touchstone​

​ ​ ​Kenneth Walker​

​ ​ ​Sonya Williams-Barnes​




Committee Appointments for
Energy (27)


​Appointees​

​C -​Angela Cockerham​

​V -​Gary V. Staples​

​ ​ ​Nick Bain​

​ ​ ​Shane Barnett​

​ ​ ​Donnie Bell​

​ ​ ​Christopher Bell​

​ ​ ​Randy P. Boyd​

​ ​ ​Cedric Burnett​

​ ​ ​Dan Eubanks​

​ ​Michael T. Evans​

​ ​Mark Formby​

​ ​ ​Jeff Hale​

​ ​ ​Gregory Holloway, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Joey Hood​

​ ​ ​Kevin Horan​

​ ​ ​Lataisha Jackson​

​ ​ ​Steve Massengill​

​ ​ ​America Chuck Middleton​

​ ​ ​Tom Miles​

​ ​ ​Brent Powell​

​ ​ ​Margaret Rogers​

​ ​ ​Noah Sanford​

​ ​ ​William Shirley​

​ ​ ​Jody Steverson​

​ ​ ​Preston E. Sullivan​

​ ​ ​Tom Weathersby​

​ ​ ​Cory Wilson​




Committee Appointments for
Enrolled Bills (5)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Stephen A. Horne​

​ ​V -​William Shirley​

​ ​ ​America Chuck Middleton​

​ ​ ​Orlando Paden​

​ ​ ​Randall Patterson​




Committee Appointments for
Ethics (8)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Andy Gipson​

​V -​Percy W. Watson​

​ ​Angela Cockerham​

​ ​ ​Mac Huddleston​

​​ ​Ray Rogers​

​ ​ ​Sara R. Thomas​

​ ​ ​Jason White​

​ ​ ​Cory Wilson​




Committee Appointments for
Executive Contingent Fund (5)


​Appointees​

​C -​Bobby Shows​

​ ​V -​Christopher Bell​

​ ​ ​Cedric Burnett​

​ ​ ​Stephen A. Horne​

​ ​ ​Randall Patterson​




Committee Appointments for
Forestry (11)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Ken Morgan​

​ ​V -​Karl Oliver​

​ ​ ​Shane Barnett​

​ ​ ​Randy P. Boyd​

​ ​Bill Kinkade​

​ ​ ​Vince Mangold​

​ ​ ​Roun McNeal​

​ ​ ​America Chuck Middleton​

​ ​ ​Bill Pigott​

​ ​ ​Preston E. Sullivan​

​ ​ ​Kenneth Walker​




Committee Appointments for
Gaming (19)


​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Richard Bennett​

​ ​V -​Timmy Ladner​

​ ​ ​Shane Aguirre​

​ ​Willie Bailey​

​ ​ ​Christopher Bell​

​ ​ ​Carolyn Crawford​

​ ​ ​Scott DeLano​

​ ​ ​Oscar Denton​

​ ​ ​Deborah Butler Dixon​

​ ​ ​Casey Eure​

​ ​ ​John W. Hines, Sr.​

​ ​Robert L. Johnson III​

​ ​ ​America Chuck Middleton​

​ ​ ​Alex Monsour​

​ ​Willie J. Perkins, Sr.​

​ ​ ​John Read​

​ ​ ​Sonya Williams-Barnes​

​ ​ ​Patricia H. Willis​

​ ​ ​Henry Zuber III​




Committee Appointments for
General Bills (17)



​Appointees​

​C -​Mark Formby​

​ ​V -​Randy P. Boyd​

​ ​ ​Shane Aguirre​

​ ​ ​Manly Barton​

​ ​ ​Charles Jim Beckett​

​ ​ ​Richard Bennett​

​ ​ ​C. Scott Bounds​

​ ​ ​Bill Denny​

​​ ​Herb Frierson​

​ ​ ​John W. Hines, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Kevin Horan​

​ ​Robert L. Johnson III​

​ ​ ​Sam C. Mims, V​

​ ​ ​Karl Oliver​

​ ​ ​Orlando Paden​

​ ​Jeffrey C. Smith​

​ ​ ​Brad Touchstone​




Committee Appointments for
Insurance (27)





​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Gary Chism​

​ ​V -​Brad Touchstone​

​ ​Earle S. Banks​

​ ​ ​Charles Jim Beckett​

​ ​ ​Christopher Bell​

​ ​ ​Charles Busby​

​ ​Credell Calhoun​

​ ​ ​Scott DeLano​

​ ​ ​Oscar Denton​

​ ​ ​Jarvis Dortch​

​ ​ ​Dan Eubanks​

​ ​Mark Formby​

​ ​ ​Andy Gipson​

​ ​ ​Jeffrey S. Guice​

​ ​ ​Jeff Hale​

​ ​ ​John W. Hines, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Alex Monsour​

​ ​John L. Moore​

​ ​Willie J. Perkins, Sr.​

​​ ​Omeria Scott​

​ ​ ​William Shirley​

​ ​ ​Jody Steverson​​

​ ​

​Jerry R. Turner​

​ ​Percy W. Watson​

​ ​ ​Tom Weathersby​

​ ​ ​Adrienne Wooten​

​ ​ ​Henry Zuber III​




Committee Appointments for
Interstate Cooperation (7)





​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Jeffrey S. Guice​

​ ​V -​Kathy Sykes​

​​ ​Willie Bailey​

​ ​ ​Steve Hopkins​

​ ​ ​Stephen A. Horne​

​ ​ ​America Chuck Middleton​

​ ​ ​Bill Pigott​





Committee Appointments for
Investigate State Offices (9)





​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Randall Patterson​

​ ​V -​America Chuck Middleton​​

​ ​ ​Jeramey D. Anderson​

​ ​ ​Mark Baker​

​ ​ ​Randy P. Boyd​

​ ​ ​Stephen A. Horne​

​ ​ ​Timmy Ladner​

​​ ​Ray Rogers​

​ ​ ​Sara R. Thomas​




Committee Appointments for
Judiciary A (25)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Mark Baker​

​ ​V -​Cory Wilson​

​ ​ ​Shane Aguirre​

​ ​Earle S. Banks​

​ ​ ​Charles Jim Beckett​

​ ​ ​Gary Chism​

​ ​ ​Bryant W. Clark​

​​Angela Cockerham​

​ ​ ​Linda F. Coleman​

​ ​ ​Dana Criswell​

​ ​ ​Bill Denny​

​ ​ ​Bob Evans​

​ ​ ​Jay Hughes​

​ ​Robert L. Johnson III​

​ ​ ​John Thomas "Trey" Lamar, III​​

​ ​Willie J. Perkins, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Brent Powell​

​​Thomas U. Reynolds​

​ ​ ​Rob Roberson​

​​ ​Jeffrey C. Smith​

​ ​ ​Greg Snowden​

​ ​ ​Brad Touchstone​

​​ ​Mark Tullos​

​ ​​Percy W. Watson​

​ ​ ​Adrienne Wooten​




Committee Appointments for
Judiciary B (25)





​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Andy Gipson​

​ ​V -​Joey Hood​

​ ​ ​Jeramey D. Anderson​

​ ​ ​William Tracy Arnold​

​ ​Willie Bailey​

​ ​ ​Nick Bain​

​ ​ ​David Baria​

​ ​ ​Shane Barnett​

​ ​Edward Blackmon, Jr.​

​ ​ ​Joel Bomgar​

​ ​ ​Cedric Burnett​

​ ​ ​Kimberly L. Campbell​

​ ​ ​Deborah Butler Dixon​

​ ​Tyrone Ellis​

​ ​ ​Kevin Horan​

​ ​ ​Timmy Ladner​

​ ​ ​Roun McNeal​

​ ​ ​Sam C. Mims, V​

​ ​ ​Alex Monsour​

​ ​John L. Moore​

​ ​ ​Noah Sanford​

​ ​ ​William Shirley​

​ ​ ​Jason White​

​ ​ ​Patricia H. Willis​

​ ​ ​Henry Zuber III​




Committee Appointments for
Legislative Budget Committee (7)



​Appointees​








Committee Appointments for
Local and Private Legislation (7)





​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Manly Barton​

​ ​V -​Lataisha Jackson​

​ ​ ​Richard Bennett​

​ ​ ​Gary Chism​

​ ​ ​Robert Foster​

​ ​ ​Rob Roberson​

​ ​ ​Rufus Straughter​




Committee Appointments for
Marine Resources (11)





​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Casey Eure​

​ ​V -​Carolyn Crawford​

​​ ​Jeramey D. Anderson​

​ ​ ​Shane Barnett​

​​ ​Mark Formby​

​ ​ ​Greg Haney​

​ ​ ​Timmy Ladner​

​ ​ ​Vince Mangold​

​ ​ ​Randall Patterson​

​ ​ ​Sonya Williams-Barnes​

​ ​ ​Patricia H. Willis​




Committee Appointments for
Medicaid (19)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Chris Brown​

​ ​V -​Joel Bomgar​

​ ​ ​Toby Barker​

​ ​ ​Richard Bennett​

​ ​ ​Becky Currie​

​ ​ ​Jarvis Dortch​

​ ​ ​D. Stephen Holland​

​ ​ ​Joey Hood​

​ ​ ​Jay Hughes​

​ ​Robert L. Johnson III​

​ ​ ​Doug McLeod​

​ ​ ​Nolan Mettetal​

​ ​ ​Sam C. Mims, V​

​ ​David W. Myers​

​ ​ ​Omeria Scott​

​ ​ ​William Shirley​

​ ​ ​Jason White​

​ ​ ​Charles Young, Jr.​

​ ​ ​Henry Zuber III​




Committee Appointments for
Military Affairs (15)



​Appointees​

​C -​Ray Rogers​

​ ​V -​Ashley Henley​

​ ​ ​Manly Barton​

​ ​Credell Calhoun​

​ ​John G. Faulkner​

​ ​ ​Karl Gibbs​

​ ​ ​Steve Hopkins​

​ ​ ​Mac Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Kabir Karriem​

​ ​ ​Vince Mangold​

​ ​David W. Myers​

​ ​ ​Karl Oliver​

​ ​ ​Randy Rushing​

​ ​Mark Tullos​

​ ​ ​Patricia H. Willis​



Committee Appointments for
Municipalities (17)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Randy Rushing​

​ ​V -​Steve Hopkins​

​ ​Edward Blackmon, Jr.​

​ ​ ​Joel Bomgar​

​ ​ ​Lester Carpenter​

​ ​ ​Linda F. Coleman​

​ ​ ​Bill Denny​

​ ​ ​Robert Foster​

​ ​ ​Andy Gipson​

​ ​ ​Gregory Holloway, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Kabir Karriem​

​ ​ ​Roun McNeal​

​ ​David W. Myers​

​ ​Willie J. Perkins, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Rob Roberson​

​ ​Mark Tullos​

​ ​ ​Adrienne Wooten​






Committee Appointments for
PEER (7)






Committee Appointments for
Performance Based Budgeting (9)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Toby Barker​

​ ​V -​Dan Eubanks​

​ ​Angela Cockerham​

​ ​ ​Herb Frierson​

​ ​ ​Mac Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Lataisha Jackson​

​ ​ ​Chris Johnson​

​ ​ ​Greg Snowden​

​ ​ ​Charles Young, Jr.​





Committee Appointments for
Ports, Harbors and Airports (11)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Alex Monsour​

​ ​V -​Sonya Williams-Barnes​

​ ​Willie Bailey​

​ ​ ​Manly Barton​

​ ​ ​Charles Busby​

​ ​ ​Linda F. Coleman​

​ ​ ​Jeffrey S. Guice​

​ ​ ​Greg Haney​

​ ​ ​Kabir Karriem​

​ ​ ​John Read​

​ ​ ​Patricia H. Willis​




Committee Appointments for
Public Health and Human Services (29)

​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Sam C. Mims, V​

​ ​V -​Chris Johnson​

​ ​ ​Shane Aguirre​

​ ​ ​Nick Bain​

​ ​ ​Toby Barker​

​ ​ ​Christopher Bell​

​ ​ ​C. Scott Bounds​

​ ​ ​Chris Brown​

​ ​ ​Cedric Burnett​

​ ​ ​Larry Byrd​

​ ​ ​Bryant W. Clark​

​ ​ ​Deborah Butler Dixon​

​ ​ ​Jarvis Dortch​

​ ​ ​Dan Eubanks​

​ ​ ​Jeffrey S. Guice​

​ ​ ​Joey Hood​

​ ​ ​Mac Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Doug McLeod​

​ ​ ​Nolan Mettetal​

​ ​ ​Orlando Paden​

​ ​ ​Brent Powell​

​ ​ ​Noah Sanford​

​ ​ ​Omeria Scott​

​ ​Bobby Shows​

​ ​ ​Kathy Sykes​

​ ​ ​Brad Touchstone​

​ ​Percy W. Watson​

​ ​ ​Jason White​

​ ​ ​Adrienne Wooten​




Committee Appointments for
Public Property (15)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Tom Weathersby​

​ ​V -​Jeff Hale​

​ ​Earle S. Banks​

​ ​ ​Joel Bomgar​

​ ​ ​Randy P. Boyd​

​ ​ ​Gregory Holloway, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Lataisha Jackson​

​ ​ ​Nolan Mettetal​

​ ​ ​Ken Morgan​

​ ​ ​Karl Oliver​

​ ​ ​John Read​

​​ ​Ray Rogers​

​ ​ ​Preston E. Sullivan​

​ ​ ​Sara R. Thomas​

​ ​ ​Charles Young, Jr.​






Committee Appointments for
Public Utilities (23)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Charles Jim Beckett​

​ ​V -​Jody Steverson​

​ ​Earle S. Banks​

​ ​ ​David Baria​

​ ​ ​Richard Bennett​

​ ​ ​Kimberly L. Campbell​

​ ​ ​Gary Chism​

​ ​ ​Casey Eure​

​​ ​Michael T. Evans​

​​ ​Mark Formby​

​ ​ ​John W. Hines, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Joey Hood​

​ ​ ​Steve Massengill​

​ ​ ​Carl Mickens​

​ ​ ​Tom Miles​

​ ​David W. Myers​

​ ​ ​Margaret Rogers​

​ ​ ​Noah Sanford​

​​ ​Bobby Shows​

​ ​Gary V. Staples​

​ ​ ​Kathy Sykes​

​ ​ ​Brad Touchstone​

​​ ​Percy W. Watson​




Committee Appointments for
State Library (5)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​William Tracy Arnold​

​ ​V -​Noah Sanford​

​ ​ ​Jay Hughes​

​ ​ ​Orlando Paden​

​ ​ ​Margaret Rogers​




Committee Appointments for
Technology (11)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Scott DeLano​

​ ​V -​Cedric Burnett​

​ ​ ​Jeramey D. Anderson​

​ ​ ​Toby Barker​

​ ​ ​Joel Bomgar​

​ ​ ​Dana Criswell​

​ ​ ​Oscar Denton​

​ ​ ​Jeffrey S. Guice​

​ ​ ​Ashley Henley​

​ ​ ​Kathy Sykes​

​ ​ ​Kenneth Walker​






Committee Appointments for
Tourism (21)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Becky Currie​

​ ​V -​Sara R. Thomas​

​ ​Willie Bailey​

​ ​ ​Richard Bennett​

​ ​ ​Lester Carpenter​

​ ​ ​Dana Criswell​

​ ​ ​Oscar Denton​

​ ​ ​Casey Eure​

​ ​ ​Jeffrey S. Guice​

​ ​ ​Greg Haney​

​ ​ ​Ashley Henley​

​ ​ ​Kabir Karriem​

​ ​ ​Steve Massengill​

​ ​ ​America Chuck Middleton​

​ ​ ​Tom Miles​

​ ​ ​Alex Monsour​

​ ​ ​Orlando Paden​

​ ​ ​Randall Patterson​

​​ ​Omeria Scott​

​ ​ ​Sonya Williams-Barnes​

​ ​ ​Patricia H. Willis​






Committee Appointments for
Transportation (29)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Charles Busby​

​ ​V -​Steve Massengill​

​ ​ ​William Tracy Arnold​

​ ​ ​Mark Baker​

​ ​ ​Manly Barton​

​ ​ ​Cedric Burnett​

​ ​ ​Larry Byrd​

​ ​ ​Bryant W. Clark​

​ ​ ​Linda F. Coleman​

​ ​ ​Dana Criswell​

​ ​ ​Oscar Denton​

​​ ​John G. Faulkner​

​ ​ ​Robert Foster​

​ ​ ​Andy Gipson​

​ ​ ​D. Stephen Holland​

​ ​ ​Chris Johnson​

​ ​Robert L. Johnson III​

​ ​ ​Vince Mangold​

​ ​ ​Doug McLeod​

​ ​ ​Alex Monsour​

​ ​John L. Moore​

​ ​ ​Brent Powell​

​​ ​Thomas U. Reynolds​

​ ​ ​Rob Roberson​

​ ​ ​Jody Steverson​

​ ​ ​Preston E. Sullivan​

​ ​ ​Brad Touchstone​

​ ​Jerry R. Turner​

​ ​ ​Cory Wilson​




Committee Appointments for
Universities and Colleges (27)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Nolan Mettetal​

​ ​V -​Gregory Holloway, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Shane Aguirre​

​ ​ ​Jeramey D. Anderson​

​ ​ ​William Tracy Arnold​

​ ​ ​David Baria​

​ ​ ​Charles Jim Beckett​

​ ​ ​Donnie Bell​

​​ ​Credell Calhoun​

​​ ​Alyce G. Clarke​

​ ​ ​Carolyn Crawford​

​ ​ ​Dana Criswell​

​ ​ ​Bob Evans​

​ ​John G. Faulkner​

​ ​ ​Steve Hopkins​

​ ​ ​Mac Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Lataisha Jackson​

​ ​ ​John Thomas "Trey" Lamar, III​​

​ ​ ​Roun McNeal​

​ ​ ​Orlando Paden​

​​Bobby Shows​

​ ​ ​Jody Steverson

​ ​ ​Rufus Straughter​

​ ​ ​Jason White​

​ ​ ​Cory Wilson​

​ ​ ​Adrienne Wooten​

​ ​ ​Charles Young, Jr.​




Committee Appointments for
Ways and Means (33)



​Appointees​

​​C -​Jeffrey C. Smith​

​ ​V -​John Thomas "Trey" Lamar, III​​

​​ ​Willie Bailey​​

​​ ​Mark Baker​

​ ​ ​Donnie Bell​

​​ ​Edward Blackmon, Jr.​

​​ ​Credell Calhoun​

​ ​ ​Lester Carpenter​

​ ​ ​Gary Chism​

​ ​ ​Carolyn Crawford​

​​ ​Tyrone Ellis​

​​ ​Mark Formby​

​ ​ ​Jeffrey S. Guice​

​ ​ ​Joey Hood​

​ ​ ​Stephen A. Horne

​​ ​Robert L. Johnson III​

​​ ​Bill Kinkade​

​ ​ ​Doug McLeod​

​ ​ ​America Chuck Middleton​

​ ​ ​Ken Morgan​

​ ​ ​Randall Patterson​

​​ ​Willie J. Perkins, Sr.​

​ ​ ​Brent Powell​

​​Thomas U. Reynolds​

​ ​ ​Margaret Rogers​

​​ ​Ray Rogers​

​ ​ ​Randy Rushing​

​ ​ ​Omeria Scott​

​ ​ ​Jody Steverson​

​ ​ ​Rufus Straughter​

​ ​ ​Tom Weathersby​

​ ​ ​Jason White​

​ ​ ​Henry Zuber III​




Committee Appointments for
Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (15)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​C. Scott Bounds​

​ ​V -​Shane Barnett​

​ ​ ​Lester Carpenter​

​ ​ ​Bryant W. Clark​

​​ ​Angela Cockerham​

​ ​ ​Bob Evans​

​ ​ ​Herb Frierson​

​ ​ ​Karl Gibbs​

​ ​ ​Steve Hopkins​

​​ ​Robert L. Johnson III​

​​ ​Bill Kinkade​

​ ​ ​John Thomas "Trey" Lamar, III​​

​ ​ ​Vince Mangold​

​ ​ ​Ken Morgan​

​ ​ ​Karl Oliver​




Committee Appointments for
Workforce Development (15)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Donnie Bell​

​ ​V -​Doug McLeod​

​ ​ ​Oscar Denton​

​ ​ ​Robert Foster​

​ ​ ​Herb Frierson​

​ ​ ​Jeff Hale​

​ ​ ​Greg Haney​

​ ​ ​Ashley Henley​

​ ​ ​Robert E. Huddleston​

​ ​ ​Timmy Ladner​

​ ​ ​Steve Massengill​

​ ​ ​Roun McNeal​

​ ​ ​Carl Mickens​

​ ​ ​Kathy Sykes​

​ ​ ​Kenneth Walker​




Committee Appointments for
Youth and Family Affairs (11)



​Appointees​

​ ​C -​Deborah Butler Dixon​

​ ​V -​Karl Gibbs​

​ ​ ​David Baria​

​ ​ ​Joel Bomgar​

​​ ​Alyce G. Clarke​

​ ​ ​Dan Eubanks​

​​ ​John G. Faulkner​

​ ​ ​Ashley Henley​

​ ​ ​Sara R. Thomas​

​ ​ ​Brad Touchstone​

​​ ​Mark Tullos

Posted January 29, 2016 - 4:04 pm

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





BRIAN PERRY/Trump vs. Barbour



Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump took a shot at former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on Tuesday on the ABC program "Good Morning America."

Trump was responding to a question from George Stephanopoulos, who referenced a New York Times article quoting Henry Barbour, the former governor's nephew who serves as Mississippi's Republican National Committeeman....


....Henry Barbour asked ABC for a correction, stood by his quotes in the New York Times and said: "Republicans must win the White House and I believe Hillary Clinton would likely beat Trump or Cruz. They're running divisive and negative campaigns that would be unlikely to persuade swing voters in states such as Colorado, Florida, Virginia or Ohio in a general election. We can't hand this to Hillary, so Republicans need to unite behind our strongest conservative candidate who can win both the nomination and beat Hillary Clinton. I believe that person will emerge after New Hampshire or South Carolina and give Republicans a much better option than Trump or Cruz."



Madison County Journal
1/27/16




Posted January 29, 2016 - 6:14 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Bill Minor: Dearing 'godfather' of Mississippi gaming



State Sen. Bob Dearing, the Democrat from Natchez, has been in the news quite a bit lately because of an election dispute, not for the reason he should be most remembered.

You could say that Dearing is the godfather of Mississippi's multibillion-dollar casino gaming industry. The 81-year-old Dearing had authored a bill back in 1990 to let Mississippi River gaming boats dock in Natchez.




ClarionLedger
1/28/16



Posted January 29, 2016 - 6:10 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





BOBBY HARRISON: House snubs Hosemann on key election question



Last week state Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, received chuckles, though some might have been bittersweet, when he made the motion to adjourn the House for the day in memory of the Elections Division of Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s office.

Baria was referencing the fact that the House Republican majority had disregarded the opinion of the state’s chief election officer, Hosemann, who by the way also is a Republican, and found that five affidavit ballots in Smith County in the contested House District 79 election should not be counted.



Daily Journal
1/28/16



Posted January 29, 2016 - 6:07 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:



COCHRAN STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF BERT CASE

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today issued the following statement on the passing of veteran television journalist Bert Case:

"I am saddened by the passing of Bert Case. We knew each other as fraternity brothers at Ole Miss and, like he did for many Mississippians, he became a fixture in my life. With insight and thoroughness, he brought us news of the good, the bad and the humorous with unwavering fairness. His ability to do that well is what made him credible and commendable to Mississippians.

"My thoughts are with his family and many friends at this difficult time."

###

Wicker Statement on the Passing of Bert Case



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., issued the following statement regarding the death of Bert Case:



“Bert Case always kept it interesting. He had a way of connecting to the viewer with just enough edge, just enough humor, and just enough pizazz. We are not likely to see another like him anytime soon -- a true Mississippi Classic!”


1/28/16

Posted January 29, 2016 - 6:04 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





UPDATE: Sen. Bryan: proposed rules change is power grab



Sen. Hob Bryan says a little language slipped into proposed legislative rules and a few words snipped out could allow the GOP legislative leadership to steamroll tax cuts and other bills into law without debate or scrutiny.

But the House leadership says it's just trying to clean up the rules and make legislating go smoother.

The House on Thursday adopted its permanent rules for the new four-year term, and joint rules it sent to the Senate for its approval. This is standard procedure, and the House had to adopt its rules before committee chairmen can be appointed, as early as Friday. The vote was 98-23 to adopt the joint rules. The House rules were adopted by voice vote.



ClarionLedger
1/28/16



Posted January 29, 2016 - 6:01 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





RELEASE:

Governor Phil Bryant Comments on the Passing of Bert Case



Statement from the Governor:


“For more than 50 years, Bert Case told the stories of Mississippi, aggressively and fairly holding her leadership accountable and eloquently celebrating her people. He was a gentleman whose signature sign-off made him an icon. Deborah and I are saddened by his passing. He leaves a beautiful legacy and will be missed by all who knew him.”


1/28/16

Posted January 29, 2016 - 5:57 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





Bomgar: No excuses for 2016




Freshman legislator Rep. Joel Bomgar (R-Madison) is four weeks in to the new legislative session and is calling 2016 "The Year of No Excuses."

The Republicans have a super-majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate and Bomgar said that poises the party to "deliver absolutely anything in the party platform."

"What gets done is purely a function of political will," he said. "It's 100 percent a matter of what we want to get done. There are no constraints."

Bomgar and other representatives were still awaiting committee assignments Wednesday and so he said it's hard to dive into anything without yet knowing what those will be.



Madison County Journal
1/27/16



Posted January 28, 2016 - 6:27 am

YallPolitics.Com now uses Facebook for comments. Log into Facebook to comment here.





©2005-2016 Jackson New Media, Inc. All rights reserved.