DAILY JOURNAL – Gov. Bryant says he supports 15-week abortion ban

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is indicating he will sign a bill that would set the earliest abortion ban in the United States.

Senators voted 35-14 Tuesday to pass House Bill 1510. If the House agrees with changes made by the Senate, the bill would go to the Republican governor.

“As I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child,” Bryant said Tuesday on Twitter. ”House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal.”

WTOK – Mississippi bill would define terroristic threats

The Mississippi Legislature is considering a bill to set criminal penalties for people who make terroristic threats…

…Terroristic threats are defined as threats of violence with the “intent to terrorize, intimidate or disrupt a governmental function.” Such threats could be punishable by up to five years in prison.

The Senate amended the bill to include threats against schools and school functions. The bill heads back to the House for more debate.

WTOK – Local lawmaker speaks out on new bill that would allow schools to arm teachers

WLBT – Dog fighting and arming teachers up for debate against deadline day at State Capitol

The House is giving the OK to increasing penalties for dog fighting.

“It is certainly a heinous practice,” said Judiciary B Chairman Andy Gipson.

Gipson admits he’s learned a lot while the bill was under consideration in his committee.

“I’ve come to learn over the last few days that in some Southwestern areas of the the state, it is fairly prevalent where a lot of folks from other states are coming over and doing that type of activity,” said Gipson.


CLARION LEDGER – GEOFF PENDER: Who loves Trump more, Wicker or McDaniel? 

Who loves President Trump more — incumbent Republican Sen. Roger Wicker or challenger Chris McDaniel?…

…With the contest still in its infancy, that is the focus of early advertising and social media pushes from each campaign.

Wicker, whom Trump has endorsed, says McDaniel is a Trump-betrayer. His campaign notes that McDaniel bad-mouthed Trump supporters — even called them “delusional” — when McDaniel ran Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign in Mississippi.

McDaniel’s campaign says Wicker is a neo-Trump supporter, only recently cleaving to him for expediency in re-election. McDaniel claims that as chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committee, Wicker lobbied against Trump among GOP senators and that he has betrayed Trump where it counts: in Congress.


Unmanned Maritime Systems Benefit From New Legislation

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, along with Reps. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., and Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., today introduced the “Commercial Engagement through Ocean Technology (CENOTE) Act.” This bicameral, bipartisan legislation would advance the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) use of unmanned maritime systems, encourage private sector research and development, and ensure that marine data is readily available and reliable.

The legislation highlights the unique role that non-defense interests such as NOAA, academia, and the private sector play in the advancement of unmanned systems, which can gather a wide range of ocean data with fishery management, navigation, economic, and national security implications.

“Unmanned systems are allowing us to explore the ocean in unprecedented ways,” Sen. Wicker said. “Expanding NOAA’s mission to include the use of this unobtrusive technology would only help to advance our knowledge of what is happening above and below the surface of the water. This legislation also enables the agency to tap into our universities and the private sector to get the brightest minds working together.”

“With unmanned systems, we have the chance to monitor and patrol the farthest reaches of our oceans, including Papahānaumokuākea, but only if we adopt the technology and use it wisely,” said Senator Schatz. “Our legislation directs NOAA to collaborate with the Navy, along with academia and the private sector, to find and then start using the best new technologies for science and management.”

“By enabling NOAA to further advance its use of unmanned maritime systems, we will be able to tap into a wealth of resources between public-private partnerships,” Congressman Palazzo said. “This bill creates a framework that brings together defense, non-defense, and private sector partners in order to collect a wide-range of ocean data. I believe uniting these industries to expand unmanned maritime systems usage will fuel Mississippi’s already thriving Blue Economy.”

“Advancing unmanned systems has widespread civil, commercial, academic, and national security benefits,” said Congressman Panetta. “This bill accelerates the deployment of these technologies by coordinating partnership opportunities, including with the Naval Postgraduate School to utilize its advanced infrastructure, student-faculty expertise, and research and development programs.”

“Thanks to Senator Wicker and Senator Schatz for introducing this bipartisan bill that addresses key gaps in the establishment of public-private partnerships among defense and non-defense agencies, industry, and academia,” said RADM (Ret.) Jon White, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “Partnerships like these advance the ocean science and technology enterprise, benefitting the entire nation. CENOTE’s bipartisan development is a testament to the widespread prioritization of investing limited national resources efficiently and effectively in the comprehensive application of new maritime technologies. CENOTE is a win for defense, commerce, fisheries, environmental monitoring and research, and disaster planning and recovery, and I encourage Congress to act on it.”

State Auditor Stacey Pickering Releases Opinion on FY 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Mississippi

Yesterday, Stacey Pickering released an unmodified opinion on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2017, and issued the Findings Report, commonly known as the “Yellow Book Report.”

The CAFR is a vital tool in illustrating the financial wellbeing of Mississippi. It serves, among other things, to advise the legislature on how state funds are being spent, how State revenue levels are performing, and the level of debt held by the State. Highlights of the report include an overall increase in per-capita income in our state over the past 10 years and a decrease in the number of State employees in the same period.

The Findings Report lists negative audit findings for each State agency, which can include financial statement errors or noncompliance with State law. Additionally, the Findings Report includes responses from each agency and corrective action plans regarding the audit findings. This year, twenty-seven findings were made among twelve State agencies.

In a press event, Pickering discussed the importance of the CAFR and what the data within the report means to Mississippians, saying, “The data collected in the CAFR shows the progress our state is making and how we can continue to improve as a State; it is a powerful tool in driving effective public policy decisions that affect all Mississippians.”

Both reports can be viewed online at the OSA website.

SUNHERALD – Bay St. Louis councilman reads letter that includes racial slurs at city meeting