DAILY JOURNAL – Bryant makes historic College Board appointments

Gov. Phil Bryant has announced his four nominees to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

When those nominees are confirmed by the Senate, it will give Bryant all 12 appointments to the panel that oversees Mississippi’s eight public universities.

The second-term Republican governor announced the appointees Friday via a news release.

They are Steven Cunningham, a Hattiesburg physician; Jeanne Luckey, owner of an Ocean Springs real estate holding company; Bruce Martin of Meridian, president of an insurance firm; and Powell “Gee” Ogletree Jr., a Jackson attorney.

WASHINGTON EXAMINER – Club for Growth holding off on Chris McDaniel endorsement

The Club for Growth announced Friday that it is holding off on a potential Chris McDaniel endorsement after being an early supporter of his Senate campaign back in 2014.

David McIntosh, the group’s president and a former Indiana congressman, said Friday that the conservative organization is weighing its options this year but is not ready to support McDaniel after he jumped in the contest last week against Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.



“We’ve been looking at that race,” McIntosh said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” Friday afternoon, pointing to problems with McDaniel’s 2014 campaign he says they have talked to him about on a few occasions. “We’re still looking at it and considering it.”…

…”The other factor is Roger Wicker is frankly a much stronger incumbent than Thad Cochran, and Thad Cochran won,” McIntosh said. “So we’ve got to consider that versus spending our resources in some of these challenger race where the Republican has the lead.” Cochran is retiring on April 1.

MBJ – BILL CRAWFORD: Legislature has flubbed responsibility for good schools

It’s pretty clear the Legislature has flubbed its responsibility to provide free and good public schools. We have too many low-performing schools and too many unable to attract and retain good teachers.

It’s no wonder parents in those school districts are frustrated. They feel locked into bad schools with no recourse for their children.

Rather than address the bad school problem, legislative leaders this year concocted a “school choice” plan to expand access to Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs). Already available for students with special needs, the expanded version would have given vouchers to selected parents to send their children to private schools.

What a cop out to legislators’ constitutional responsibility to provide good schools for all children!

CLARION LEDGER – Dogs, cocks, snakes and zappers – oh my! Legislature quotes

“By cock, do you mean a rooster, gentleman?” — House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, to Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, during debate over a dog-fighting bill.

“Of course I do! What were you thinking about? Have mercy.” — Holland responded to Gipson.

“My grandmother always said you’ve got to consider the source.” — Gipson responded.

 

Sen. Cochran: $273 million contract to build Army helicopters coming to Columbus

 

CLARION LEDGER – Geoff Pender: Will Chris McDaniel’s big-money backers let him jump to other race?

State Sen. Chris McDaniel jumped into a primary race against incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, but he left the door open to switch to the special election for the seat Sen. Thad Cochran is vacating…

…I don’t know that those backers would be quite so fired up about pouring money into a race for an open seat in Mississippi that would most likely be filled by at least a fairly conservative Republican anyway…

…Point is, while many believe McDaniel will jump from the current race to the other, the realpolitik is he might have to stay put for fundraising reasons.

DAILY JOURNAL – Revenue improving at opportune time for legislators

Through February, eight months into the fiscal year, all state revenue collections are up $56.15 million or 1.7 percent over the amount collected during the same time last year. When just accounting for general tax collections, such as the sales tax on retail items, the income tax and others that make up the bulk of state revenue, collections are up a more impressive $90.2 million or 2.95 percent…

…“State tax revenues continue to grow, slowly, steadily and surely,” House Pro Tem Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, said on social media earlier this month when the revenue report was released by the staff of the Legislative Budget Committee.

The improvement comes after two years where general tax revenue was less than the previous year.

Congressman Palazzo promotes the Conscience Protection Act

 

DAILY JOURNAL – House makes counter-offer to Senate on transportation

The House plan would divert more than $100 million a year to cities and counties from existing tax money collected on internet sales. It would also borrow and divert another $100 million annually for five years to a new fund to be controlled by the state’s three elected transportation commissioners. Finally, House members would immediately borrow another $100 million, mainly to be used for an earmarked list of projects.

The House plan shares some similarities to Reeves’ plan, but his version of the bill would divert up to $800 million in future revenue to funds controlled by the governor.

Transportation commissioners had reacted angrily to Reeves’ plan, which would strip $25 million a year from the department’s budget, made the three elected commissioners reliant on the governor for new spending authority, and even required the governor’s approval to buy new right-of-way. Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall said the House’s plan is preferable because it strips out those provisions. However, the Republican Hall said the proposed new funding for the department falls far short of the $400 million that officials say they need to prevent deterioration of the state highway network.

SUNHERALD – Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell: Mississippi needs to invest in high-quality pre-K to help cut crime

Research tells us what law enforcement officers already know to be true: Kids who get a strong start in life are more likely to stay in school, graduate high school and lead lives free of crime. A report from the national anti-crime organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids cites one study that found children who participated in a high-quality pre-K program in Chicago were almost 30 percent more likely to graduate high school by age 20. Meanwhile, kids who did not participate in the program were 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18…

…If we really want to help at-risk kids succeed in school, get on the right track and live crime-free lives, then we need to make sure more than 4 percent of Mississippi’s children get access to, and remain in, high-quality pre-K.

CLARION LEDGER – Does Mike Espy have what it takes to win Thad Cochran’s Senate seat?

Leslie McLemore, a retired Jackson State University political science professor, has said for an African-American to win a statewide election will require a candidate who appeals to black voters and white voters. He said Espy was an example of just that when he ran for Congress.

Millsaps College political science professor Nathan Shrader also has said he believes an African-American candidate could win statewide in Mississippi, but it will require a candidate with mass appeal.

#MSSen: Chris McDaniel stumps behind pulpits across south Mississippi on Sunday, like this one at Central Baptist in Hattiesburg (31:00 mark)

Central Baptist Church: Live streamed services from Central Baptist Church

Posted by Central Baptist Church – Hattiesburg, MS on Sunday, March 11, 2018