WJTV – Democrats want to delay education funding re-write

“I don’t know if the house members knew what they were voting for,” says Senator Bryan. “There’s simply no way anyone can understand a 350 page bill completely rewriting the funding formula for public education in a week.”

Senator Bryan says there’s not enough time left this legislative session for a re-write and the funding formula should be held over until next year so there’s more time for public input…

…Despite being sent to the Senate last month, House Bill 957 has not been assigned to a committee. Laura Hipp in Lt. Governor Tate Reeve’s office says the legislation will “be reviewed as we move through the process in accordance with legislative deadlines.”

SUNHERALD – House panel advances bond bills, including 1 for shipyard

A Mississippi House committee is moving forward with proposals to finance several projects, including improvements at a Gulf Coast shipyard and construction of road in a fast-growing Jackson suburb.

It is unclear, however, whether the proposals will survive in the Senate, where leaders have been reluctant to increase the state’s bond debt.

Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula is one of Mississippi’s largest private employers, with about 11,500 workers. The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday passed House Bill 321 , which would authorize the state to issue $45 million in bonds. Chairman Jeff Smith, a Republican from Columbus, said it is part of a multi-year commitment the state is making to the shipyard that has military contracts.

WJTV – Mississippi NAACP talks about proposed bills and the impact on minority communities


DAILY JOURNAL – House eliminates high school exit exams as part of its budget plan

JACKSON – The Mississippi House voted Tuesday to not require students to pass exit exams to graduate from high school.

The vote was on an amendment, offered by Rep. Tom Miles, D-Forest, to the bill funding the Department of Eduction and the local school districts.

The state Constitution prohibits the Legislature from placing general law in appropriations bills. But legislators have gotten around that prohibition through the years by placing conditions on appropriations bills, such as Miles’ amendment saying funds could not be spent by the state Board of Education on mandating exit exams to graduate from high school.

WTOK – Mississippi legislators push early versions of budget bills

Mississippi lawmakers are considering early versions of budget bills, with much more work to come in the next few weeks.

The state fiscal year begins July 1, and the overall state-funded portion of the budget is expected to be nearly $6 billion. That would be slightly smaller than the budget for the current year.

The House passed more than 50 budget bills Tuesday, and those will go to the Senate for more discussion.

The Senate Appropriations Committee also passed a long list of budget bills for various agencies. Those move to the full Senate, and will then go to the House.

Gov. Bryant tweets on charter school ruling


Thompson Statement on Trump’s Homeland Security Budget Request

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on President Trump’s FY 2019 budget request:

“The President’s budget request for the Department of Homeland Security prioritizes politics over national security. Instead of focusing on the critical needs of first responders – the boots on the ground that keep our communities safe – the budget would waste $1.6 billion on President Trump’s dream of a southwest border wall. Further, it obliterates the Department’s research and development arm to pay for a deportation force at ICE and 52,000 detention beds, a historic number.

Remarkably, the budget largely ignores evidence that the threats to transportation have diversified and intensified over the past year, as it would eliminate VIPR Teams and reduce support for local law enforcement at airports. Additionally, the budget’s misguided plans to upend the Federal civil service system and freeze pay will, no doubt, exacerbate the historically low morale and retention rates that have plagued the Department, most notably within key components of the Department’s security apparatus, including Customs and Border Protection, the Secret Service, and the Transportation Security Administration.

This cynical budget is more about providing red meat to President Trump’s base than meeting today’s homeland security challenges.”

Congressman Kelly comments on funding bill


CLARION LEDGER – What would Trump infrastructure plan mean for Mississippi?

“The president’s proposal would mean Mississippi’s infrastructure would be modernized and upgraded,” Bryant said. “The rural investment would be especially beneficial.”

A quarter of the federal spending would be through rural block grants to states, based on rural population and number of miles of rural roads. Mississippi is the fourth-most rural state, with nearly half its population living in rural areas.

Bryant and Flaggs also praised the Trump administration’s vow to return infrastructure decision-making authority to the states and local governments, streamline federal permitting for projects and reduce regulations.

AG Hood hosts opioid crisis training


WLBT – Jackson City Council amends ordinance to decriminalize marijuana

The Jackson City Council has amended an ordinance to decriminalize marijuana.

Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither Stamps introduced the ordinance to amend Chapter 86 Article III. The measure passed 5 to 0.

Council President Charles Tillman abstained and Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes was absent.

The amendment limits the maximum penalty for possession of 30 grams, or just over an ounce, to a $100 fine with no prison time for the first offense.