WLOX – Investiture Ceremony held for State Supreme Court Justice David Ishee

An investiture ceremony was held for State Supreme Court Justice David Ishee Friday.

A large crowd including Gov. Phil Bryant gathered on the Gulf Park Campus of the University of Southern Mississippi to watch Ishee take the oath of office…

…”He has great experience having been appointed a judge for the first time when he was 29-years old,” Bryant said. “He did an outstanding job on the Court of Appeals, so he just seemed to be the perfect candidate for the Mississippi Supreme Court.”

Prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court, Ishee served on the Court of Appeals for 13 years.


CLARION LEDGER – State Rep. Richard Bennett: ‘MAEP rewrite’:  A good thing for all Mississippians

The Uniform Per Student Funding Formula starts with an amount for each student enrolled in a school district and then adds additional amounts for students who cost more to educate, such as students in high school, rural districts, poor districts, gifted programs and special education programs and those whose primary language is not English. The new formula is simple math which considers the needs of each individual child in calculating a school district’s funding…

…So, if a uniform per-student funding program is good for students and schools, why are some folks against it?  Perhaps the strongest argument against the new funding program is really not against the funding formula at all; rather, the most frequently made argument is against moving away from MAEP to any other funding mechanism.  At the time MAEP was written, no one anticipated the economic downturn waiting around the corner. Over the last 20 years, full MAEP funding has been achieved only twice.  Expenses in critical areas have ballooned. The unfortunate reality is that to fully fund MAEP, the state would have to operate in a vacuum, with no consideration given to resources or pressing needs, and fail to provide adequate funding for mental health, indigent health care, public safety and other essential services. Just as families must consider all their needs and resources when making spending decisions, so, too, must the state. To fully fund MAEP is impossible if other essential services are to be provided to Mississippians.


“The argument of House Speaker Philip Gunn and his allies is basically this formula is causing a political problem for us.  So if we get rid of the formula, then people can’t complain we’re $200 million short,” said Democratic Senator Hob Bryan of Amory.

Bryan is referring to the regular underfunding of MAEP.  It has only been fully funded twice since the Legislature passed it in 1997, and he contends school districts will lose money under the new formula.

DAILY JOURNAL – Upcoming week pivotal for transportation in 2018 session

With a key deadline looming Wednesday, neither chamber of the Mississippi Legislature has passed a proposal that would address the state’s transportation system.

And, at this point, it does not appear House leaders, who have been the most vocal in expressing the need to address the issue, plan to bring forth legislation.

“I don’t think we will” pass legislation, said House Transportation Vice Chairman Steve Massengill, R-Hickory Flat. “I think we should do something, but I am not in charge.”

Various sources have indicated that the plan put forward by House Transportation Chairman Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula, will not be taken up this session. That proposal was to increase the fuel tax for transportation while cutting the income tax that goes to such entities as education, public safety and health care.

But on the other side of the Capitol, Senate Finance Chairman Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, said he expects a proposal to come out of his committee next week. Fillingane would not provide any specifics, other than saying it might include “some bonds” and some other options.

CLARION LEDGER – Lawmaker quotes: Valentines, Methodists and whiskey

“Whether McCoy, Ford, or Gunn,

your prospects are bleaker,

if you don’t show some love and vote with the Speaker.” — Rep. Roun McNeal, R-Leakesville, for #mslegvalentines

“What the Baptists call sin, we Methodists call fellowship.” — Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville. Holland is returning to the well — he’s said this before.

“Gentleman, you said that like a Baptist preacher. You know Methodist preachers drink a little whiskey.” — Smith, after Rep. Hank Zuber explained a bill on permits for distilleries

CLARION LEDGER – Sen. Roger Wicker and FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr: Preparing for the jobs of tomorrow starts today

The “Apprenticeship Enhancement Act,” introduced by U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, would help streamline the application and approval process. By removing layers of government bureaucracy, the bill would make it easier for companies to register new apprenticeship programs or update existing programs.

The Federal Communications Commission is also taking steps to encourage job creation with the promotion of broadband deployment. There are jobs to be found in the manufacturing and deployment of broadband infrastructure as well as in the businesses that use these connections to reach customers around the world. Simply put, broadband can harness the talents of all Americans, create good-paying jobs, and help drive our nation’s economic growth.  The FCC has wisely begun streamlining the processes governing wireless infrastructure deployment, which means that more Mississippians will have access to broadband and the economic opportunities it provides.

Our workers are the lifeblood of our economy, and we want them to succeed. That success begins by giving Americans a fair shot at developing the skills necessary to participate in this economic resurgence. Expanding apprenticeship programs and broadband deployment are key to doing just that.

Fantastic news from Ingalls, which builds more than 70 percent of the Navy's warships. Thanks to President Donald J….

Posted by Phil Bryant on Friday, February 16, 2018