MBJ – Top Dem in Mississippi House considers run for US Senate 

The Democratic leader in the Mississippi state House said Monday that he is considering running for U.S. Senate this year.

Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis spoke at a forum in Jackson attended by reporters, lobbyists and others interested in government.

In a speech geared toward a statewide audience, Baria said Mississippi is experiencing a “brain drain” because leaders for the past 30 years have not provided basic things people need to build successful lives, including safe roads and bridges and well-funded schools.

WLOX – Dog fighting bill would strengthen existing penalties

There are two different bills directed specifically to dog fighting, one in the House and one in the Senate, but it’s the Senate bill that would make the biggest changes and hold perpetrators even more accountable.

The community was outraged when more than 50 dogs were found on a property in Adams County last November. Animal advocate Doll Stanley says it’s cases like that grabbing the attention of lawmakers.

WJTV – Governor Allain Portrait Unveiling

 

CLARION LEDGER – Vaccine exemption bill won’t get a vote from Mississippi lawmakers this session

Mississippi lawmakers will not vote this year on creating a religious exemption to Mississippi’s vaccination requirements, a committee chairman says.

House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson made the announcement about House Bill 1505 on Monday, after supporters of the exemption spent the weekend calling and leaving messages for lawmakers. Tuesday is the first major deadline of the three-month legislative session.

HATTIESBURG AMERICAN – With 175 Americans dying a day, what are the solutions to the opioid epidemic? 

If that happened a few days in a row, “we’d shut the skies down until we figured out the problem,” said former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore.

But it’s not a plane crash. It is America’s opioid epidemic, one that unchecked could claim 1 million lives by 2020.

“This really is a national emergency,” said Moore, who championed the litigation against tobacco companies and is now involved in litigation against opioid makers. “The problem is we’re not acting like it is.”

WTOK – Mississippi Senate plan steps back from Medicaid changes

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A key state senator is backing off plans to change Mississippi’s state-federal Medicaid program.

The Senate Medicaid Committee Monday advanced a version of Senate Bill 2836, removing earlier proposals to cut payments to health care providers and require all Medicaid spending to be administered by managed care companies. It goes to the Senate for more debate.

Committee chairman, Brice Wiggins, a Pascagoula Republican wants to study those proposals, saying health care providers object.