WLBT – Mississippi receives national honor for fourth grade reading scores

Mississippi is being recognized for improvements in reading scores for fourth graders. Governor Phil Bryant made the announcement via Twitter Thursday night.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is recognizing Mississippi as a State Pacesetter for efforts to improve early literacy.  Mississippi is one of only 13 states to show a significant increase in the scores and overall reading proficiency.

DAILY JOURNAL – Legislation would consolidate administrative functions of agencies

The “back shop,” or administrative functions, for about 20 small state agencies will be centralized under legislation that passed the Senate and is pending in the House.

The legislation, authored by Senate Appropriations Chairman Buck Clarke, R-Hollandale, would create the Office of Shared Services within the Department of Finance and Adminstration to handle such issues as payrolls, accountancy services and technology services.

It is estimated that the sharing of the services could save the state $600,000 or more per year.

WJTV – Cigarette tax increase proposed in House and Senate

Three Senate bills would increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack. Advocates hope that, if passed and signed into law, the tax increase would decrease smoking…

…Senator Willie Simmons, a former smoker, authored one of the bills to increase the tax.

Senator Simmons says, “We have to get into that population and reduce their desire to smoke similar to what happened to me in my personal life when my son approached me and said my smoking was killing him and his siblings. That got my attention.”

A bill in the House of Representatives would raise taxes by $1.00.

MSMA President Dr. Bill Grantham with Senator Willie Simmons and Senator Brice Wiggins at today's press conference for increasing the tobacco tax by $1.50. #HealthyFutureMS

Posted by Mississippi State Medical Association on Thursday, February 15, 2018

HATTIESBURG AMERICAN – Mississippi high school graduation rate at record 83 percent

State officials said Thursday that a record 83 percent of Mississippi seniors graduated on time from high school in 2016-2017, even as some lawmakers demand an end to subject tests that affect whether students can graduate…

…“Are we where we want to be nationally? No,” said Wright. “Are the trend lines headed in the right direction? Absolutely.”

The nationwide graduation rate is 84 percent, according to the most recent data.

WTOK – State predicts school improvement plan to be approved soon

Mississippi education officials say they expect to approve plans next month to fix state accreditation violations in Jackson and two other school districts.

Chief Accountability Officer Paula Vanderford said Thursday that the Mississippi Department of Education will work with leaders in the three districts to fix problems in their corrective action plans.

The other districts whose plans weren’t approved are Hazlehurst and Natchez-Adams.

Vanderford predicts all three revised plans will be approved in March.

State Sen. Wiggins comments on gang bill opponents

When the ACLU & liberal Democrats attack your common sense legislation, guess you're doing something right. ⚖️ (Note: actually reading the bill tends to help in understanding what it does.)

Posted by Senator Brice Wiggins on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

WLBT – Congressional Black Caucus Chairman coming to Jackson

The chairman of the U-S Congressional Black Caucus will be in Jackson February 24 to celebrate the new Civil Rights Museum, according to Carlos Moore, co-organizer of the Friends of Mississippi Civil Rights Grand Celebration and Gala.

Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, will join other African American lawmakers, including civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, for the gala, organized in protest of President Trump’s invitation to the December 9 museum grand opening.

Sen. Wicker accepts “True Blue” award for 100% pro-family, pro-life record


ONE NEWS NOW – Wicker pushes for 355-ship Navy and jets that can fly

Lawmakers recently passed the defense budget, which calls for a nearly $300 billion increase in spending over the next two years. The defense spending package calls for $700 billion for fiscal year 2018 and increases that amount to $716 billion for fiscal year 2019 to finance the day-to-day operations of the Pentagon.

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced legislation that funds expanding the navy fleet to 355 ships, from the current 270, over the next decade.

Wicker tells OneNewsNow the U.S. never needs to find itself in a situation like the 1930s and early 1940s, when it was totally unprepared to face the Axis Powers in World War II.

Secretary of State Hosemann shares Blue Book with Canada’s Consul General

Canada’s Consul General Nadia Theodore took a Blue Book home to share stats about Mississippi with our neighbors to the north. #YallBusiness

Posted by Mississippi Secretary of State's Office on Monday, February 12, 2018