Republican senators are worried about state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s, R-Ellsberg, Mississippi Senate campaign and are prepared to once again block him from ousting one of their own incumbents…
…”Obviously, we’re all concerned,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican. “We want to make sure people who are going to be productive and want to actually get things done are elected, but that’s the choice of the voters of Mississippi and not people like me.”…
…”Alabama is an object lesson in the type of tragedy that can strike for Republicans when they nominate a lunatic,” said one GOP strategist. “He has all of the Trump bonafides of Mo Brooks, and, by the way, all of the moral flexibility of Roy Moore in the minds of many Mississippi primary voters who remember his campaign breaking into a nursing home.”
“I’m always encouraged by those who support global warming, and they refer to scientists. Look at the scientists, listen to the scientists. If you listen to them, most of them will tell you that life begins at conception,” Governor Bryant said. “We have a human being 15-weeks-old and people believe that you ought to be able to destroy that life, well we don’t.”
Governor Bryant has expressed his support for the bill on numerous occasions and says that his goal is to make Mississippi the “safest place in America for an unborn child.” With that goal in mind, the Governor went on to say that his sights are set on another goal when it comes to preventing abortions in the state.
“I hope at some point, Mississippi is free of abortion completely, and I hope it’s before I leave office,” he said.
Mississippi’s attorney general says it could be tough to defend a bill lawmakers have passed banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Jim Hood says he expects “an immediate and expensive legal challenge” to the bill, which has now passed both Republican-controlled chambers of the legislature.
The Democratic attorney general notes that measures in other states banning abortions after 20 weeks have been struck down. Mississippi also has such a ban, but it has not been challenged yet.
The House took up the appropriation bill for the Mississippi Gaming Commission, and their funding may be trouble if a state lottery isn’t created.
The commission is set to receive just over $8 million in FY 2019, but if an amendment by Rep. Alyce Clarke is put into law, they won’t receive any of those funds. The amendment is short, but its intentions are clear.
“The funds appropriated to the gaming commission under the provision of this act shall not be expended until such time that the legislature enacts legislation establishing a state lottery for the purposes of funding K-12 education, state aid, roads and municipalities.”
Strengthened Infrastructure Plan Passes the House
In a vote of 103-6, the Mississippi House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 3046, adopting a stronger version of the Building Roads, Improving Development and Growing the Economy Act (BRIDGE) passed earlier by the Senate.
Enactment of this measure will dedicate a new annual income stream to cities and counties for road and bridge maintenance. A new diversion of state use-tax collections will direct funds back to the cities and the counties to be used for road and bridge maintenance. This move is a redirection of existing dollars.
“Our plan uses real money, without growth triggers, to address this pressing issue faced over the entire state,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “As we have said before, our legislation is one of the best things we’ve done for local government.
The House bill makes strides on the local and state levels for infrastructure improvements.
Use-tax is gathered from sales tax collected on any out-of-state purchases, including those made online. Approximately $310 million was collected last year. The new diversion will divert 35 percent of use tax collections, which is approximately $108 million by today’s estimates, to cities and counties for road and bridge repair.
Five percent of all use tax collections (approximately $15.5 million by today’s estimates) will permanently fund the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program.
“We want to put money back into the hands of the local people,” said Speaker Gunn. “This increases the diversions back to cities and counties, which is something our mayors and supervisors have been requesting for years.”
The House maintained what the Senate deemed, the Strategic Infrastructure Investment Fund (SIIF). However in the House version, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will administer the funds in this separate account on projects throughout the State.
The SIIF is comprised of one percent of the Rainy Day Fund, car tag monies and revenue bonded Gaming Sinking Fund dollars. This money exists separately from MDOT’s annual appropriations.
In addition to the SIIF, the House legislation also authorizes $100 million in general obligation bonds for projects over the entire state.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann at the Capitol on Thursday appeared to confirm — to school kids — that he will run for lieutenant governor next year.
The Clarion Ledger overheard Hosemann giving his consent, when a lawmaker asked if it was OK to tell a group of school children from North Point Christian School that Hosemann was running for lieutenant governor.
Stacey Pickering Releases Issues Nearly $100k of Demands to Canton Municipal Utilities Commissioners
Today, OSA Special Agents presented civil demands to five current members of the Canton Municipal Utilities Board of Commissioners. Cleotha Williams, Charles Weems, L.C. Slaughter, Charles Morgan, and Cleveland Anderson were all served demands of $19,192.77, each. The total amount for the demands against the commissioners is $95,963.85, which includes principle, interest, and investigative costs.
The demands are related to Canton Municipal Utilities commissioners spending public funds to pay personal legal fees during a time they were not serving on the Canton Municipal Utilities Board of Commissioners.
The case will be delivered to the Attorney General of Mississippi for civil suit if the subjects of the demand do not respond within thirty days.
CLARION LEDGER – State Sen. Brice Wiggins: Gangs and education: Improved academics, reduction of future crimes
This legislative session, my fellow senators and representatives have debated important matters in education funding and combatting crime in our state. While the two subjects seem vastly different on the surface, research proves time and again that there is an inverse correlation between education and crime. Less education (especially early education) = More crime. More and better education (especially early education) = Less crime…
…But our success in these areas is being overshadowed by the growing rate of gang violence and recruitment in our state. For these reasons, I introduced, for the second year in a row, a bill to give our prosecutors more tools to take on those who would recruit our children to a life of crime in a gang. With the support of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association and the Center Against Gang Violence, we are trying to go after high-level gang members, their funding sources and are securing stiffer sentences and fines for those who go after our most vulnerable citizens.
CLARION LEDGER – Legislature passes PSC bill that Hood says will be used to try to stop Entergy lawsuit
The Legislature has passed a bill to reauthorize the Public Service Commission with language Attorney General Jim Hood believes will be used to try to stop his long-pending lawsuit against Entergy…
…Hood said he believes the bill, if passed, will be used to challenge his authority to bring what he said is a $1 billion lawsuit against Entergy. The case is set for trial in federal court in Jackson in November.
Hood had urged lawmakers to pass a PSC reauthorization bill without the added language.
Sen. Wicker tweets on broadband gap, DACA
Today, I led a group of senators to ask @AjitPaiFCC to take steps to address the ‘gaps’ in the @FCC‘s mobile broadband coverage maps. Better data will help us target support to those who need better mobile broadband service most. Read our letter here ➡ https://t.co/yOG8H9y1fF pic.twitter.com/wA3MbdKA6C
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) March 8, 2018
This proposal would not secure the border, does not end chain migration, or stop diversity visa lottery program. And giving Obamacare to illegal immigrants? The goal is to end Obamacare, not expand it! https://t.co/S2ZE7dV4HX
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) March 8, 2018