CLARION LEDGER – Bryant not interested in Cochran seat despite urging from Trump, McConnell 

Gov. Phil Bryant is not interested in going to the U.S. Senate, despite urging from President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell…

…Sources close to Bryant told the Clarion Ledger after the Post report was published that Bryant is not interested in such a scenario. The sources did confirm the conversation with McConnell and also said the president had talked to Bryant about the same thing.

The same sources said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves would be the leading candidate if Cochran steps down. Reeves is expected to run for governor next year. He announced this week that he had more than $5 million in his state campaign account. That money could not be rolled into a federal campaign because of federal campaign laws.

DAILY JOURNAL – House bends Medicaid rules to accommodate hospital provider plan

After a tumultuous year, Mississippi’s powerful hospital lobby won a small victory this week when a House committee passed a bill requiring Medicaid to make room for a provider-sponsored insurance plan in its controversial managed care program.

Currently, there is only one insurance company backed by health care providers in the state, Mississippi True, which is made up of 60 hospitals and has the support of the state’s Hospital Association. As a result, this requirement would bypass Medicaid’s bidding process to award an estimated $300 million contract to Mississippi True, a move that effectively bends the agency rules to accommodate one company, say several legislators, including the bill’s sponsor.

State Sen. David Blount tweets 2019 Democrat campaign spin


CLARION LEDGER – Bill: Make mental health courts statewide 

House Bill 419 sponsored by Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, expands the pilot mental health program established by the Legislature last year. Mississippi has 22 Circuit Court districts. Six of those districts—the second, third, eighth, 12th, 17th and 20th — are eligible for the program under the current law. The Rivers McGraw Act, named in honor of an Ole Miss student who committed suicide in the wake of an arrest for DUI, set up a pilot diversion program modeled after the state’s Drug Courts.

DAILY JOURNAL – Senate bill prevents officials from being in taxpayer ads in election year

Elected officials could not appear in advertisements paid for with taxpayer funds during an election year under a bill that passed the Senate by a 32-14 margin Thursday.

“Many of my constituents have come to me upset that this has happened,” said Senate Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency Committee Chairman John Polk, R-Hattiesburg.

It is not uncommon for agencies to use elected officials to advertise state or governmental programs on the radio or television or through other outlets. Polk said such advertisements should not occur during an election year because they give the incumbent an unfair advantage.

Sen. Thad Cochran: No doubting Trump’s commitment to stronger and safe America