State senators are moving a rewrite of Mississippi’s school funding formula a step closer to passage.
However, changes made to House Bill 957 in the Senate Education Committee Tuesday mean any plan must return to the House for approval, or a conference will be needed to reconcile differences between chambers.
The new formula would replace today’s Mississippi Adequate Education Program. The bill envisions increasing funding by $107 million over seven years. But even then, it would spend $157 million less than the current formula legally mandates next year.
Gov. Bryant meets with HUD Secretary Carson
The Senate Appropriations Committee repeated its message that BP settlement dollars should be held in a separate account for coastal projects Tuesday.
The committee amended House Bill 1185, placing the Senate’s plan in the bill…
…“The vast majority of the damage occurred on the Coast, and I believe those counties should receive the vast majority of the funds,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “By separating these funds from general tax dollars, we can focus their use on projects that encourage long-term economic growth in South Mississippi, which benefits our entire state.”
The Senate Judiciary A Committee on Tuesday amended House Bill 1083, allowing public and private school administrators to establish school safety programs that would allow teachers to carry guns. School employees would have to receive 12 hours of training every two years from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
Senate Judiciary A Committee Chairman Briggs Hopson, a Vicksburg Republican, says the bill responds to recent school shootings, including in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed at a high school. President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association support such measures.
Lt. Gov. Reeves tweets support of comments by Georgia counterpart
We may disagree on college football, but I stand with my friend and colleague from the state of Georgia on this issue. https://t.co/OyhfSF1gqx
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) February 27, 2018
More money could be leaving the Mississippi Department of Transportation thanks to Senate Bill 3046, which was introduced last week by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.
“To get where we are now, we need more money, not monies being taken away from our budget,” said MDOT Southern District Transportation Commissioner Tom King. “This proposal takes $25 million a year for the next five years away from our budget, not adding to our budget.”…
…King added that this bill contributes to a “political hijacking of MDOT by taking money out of the hands of the people responsible for the roadways.”
“It gives the new Governor, or governor to be, the power and authority,” said King. “He appoints a board and they will say where the money will go and what jobs it will go to. So, the 1987 bill took politics out of MDOT. To me, this is putting politics back into MDOT.”
A Mississippi Senate committee on Tuesday passed House Bill 1510, which would make abortions illegal at 15 weeks into gestation. The bill moves to the full Senate for more discussion.
The only exceptions to the limit are if the fetus could not survive outside of the womb at full term, or if the pregnant woman’s life or a “major bodily function” is threatened by the pregnancy. This is the same exception written into Mississippi’s current abortion law.
Cases of rape and incest are not written as exceptions, as in Mississippi’s current 20-week law.
#MSSen 2018 set to kickoff: Wicker, McDaniel camps take to Twitter
— Roger Wicker (@RogerWicker) February 27, 2018
— Roger Wicker (@RogerWicker) February 28, 2018
Former state Sen. Merle Flowers of Southaven, who represented a strong Republican area that was carried by McDaniel in 2014, said McDaniel has not endeared himself to Republicans since the 2014 race, while Wicker has been aggressive in preparing for 2018. Flowers served at the state Capitol with McDaniel, but supported Cochran and is helping raise money for Wicker.
“Sen. Wicker will not have to introduce him to people he hasn’t seen in a while,” Flowers said Tuesday. “In addition, Chris McDaniel left a pretty bitter taste in Republicans’ mouths at the conclusion by filing the court challenge dragging the GOP through the mud.”
TRANSPORTATION – SB 3046 would divert some future revenue and borrow money to spend on roads and bridges. The House has passed a number of bills meant to divert current or future revenue to transportation spending…
EQUAL PAY – HB 1241 would have required equal pay for equal work by some female and male employees.
ATTORNEY GENERAL POWERS – HB 1238would have prohibited the attorney general from suing private businesses under the state consumer protection law for actions allowed by state or federal laws or regulations.
WDAM has obtained video that allegedly shows Lumberton Police Chief Shane Flynt smoking what he implies to be marijuana.
On Monday, Feb. 19, it was reported that Flynt submitted his resignation as police chief. According to a city official, Flynt was suspended and submitted his resignation, though the resignation was not accepted.
Mayor Quincy Rogers would not comment on the issue. The Lumberton Police Department declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter.