End of an era for Mississippi

 

Andy Gipson to be sworn in as Ag Commissioner today, says he will run for post in 2019

Former state representative Andy Gipson told Paul Gallo on SuperTalk radio Monday morning that he will be sworn in as Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce this morning at 9:30am.

Gipson told Gallo that he was going to announce later this year that he would not seek reelection to his House seat in 2019, and was considering other options in elective office but would not say what seats he was considering before this appointment.

Gipson announced that he will run for the Ag Commissioner spot on the 2019 ballot, noting that he was more excited about this opportunity than at any point in his political history.

 

DAILY JOURNAL – Jim Hood, Tate Reeves renew political sparring

Neither Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves nor Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood have formally announced bids for the 2019 governor’s race, but the two renewed their political rivalry Thursday with attacking press releases.

Hood initiated the drama Thursday morning, sending to reporters his reaction to the 2018 legislative session that ended on Wednesday. He used the platform to criticize Republican leaders – and calling out Reeves specifically, but without using his name – for failing to address key issues like infrastructure and mental health…

…Reeves fired back a response Thursday afternoon, criticizing Hood directly for calling for increases in taxes and supporting “sole-source, no-bid contracts.”

CLARION LEDGER – Plastic bags, slow drivers and symbols: Mississippi micromanaging lives?

Yet, some of the same Mississippi officials who say they favor local control are enacting a new state law that specifically tells city and county governments what they cannot do about plastic grocery bags.

Senate Bill 2570, which becomes law July 1, bans local governments from regulating, restricting or imposing any fees or taxes on bags, cups, bottles or other single-use packaging. It lists the materials of packaging that cannot be limited — “cloth, paper, plastic, cardboard, corrugated material, aluminum, glass, postconsumer recycled material, or similar material or substrates, including coated, laminated or multilayer substrates.”

 

DAILY JOURNAL – Legislative leaders dole out blame at end of 2018 session

Midway through the 2018 session when Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves let die without calling up for a vote in the Senate one of his priority proposals to greatly expand a school voucher program, he said that decision was made because there were not enough votes in the House to pass the controversial bill.

House Speaker Philip Gunn’s reaction to Reeves’ statement shifted between amusement and anger.

“Let me get this straight…He is saying that it is our fault (the bill was not brought up in the Senate.) I don’t understand that logic,” Gunn said…

…Only minutes after the session ended Wednesday, Gunn, referencing what he said were two major priorities of the session – rewriting the school funding formula and providing additional money for transportation needs – told reporters, “Clearly we hit the ground running on our end. We did what we set out to do. Both of those measures died on the other end of the building.”

VICKSBURG POST – As legislative session ends, Hopson happy with state’s budget

District 23 Sen. Briggs Hopson, who is the vice-chair of the appropriations committee, said he was happy with the budget and the funding they were able to provide.

“The most important thing to me is how we handle the budget and the tax dollars we are entrusted to spend wisely each year. I felt like we had a really good budget that emphasized some areas we felt were important and was also very conservative,” Hopson said.

Congressman Kelly promotes USDA broadband grants

 

WLOX – Cities expect to feel impact of no infrastructure bill passing at the Capitol

The state lawmakers wrapped up the legislative session this week. And while they may be gone from the Capitol, the calls from citizens worried about roads and bridges are still ramping up at the local level.

“We were sitting, just waiting, thinking this is the year that it’s going to happen,” said Crystal Springs Mayor Sally Garland.

Garland said there were two options pending at the State Capitol this year that would’ve brought in a new cash flow for infrastructure needs.

WJTV – Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos approves ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ for Mississippi

DeVos approved plans for Idaho, Mississippi and Rhode Island. The Secretary of Education praised aspects of the plan, especially a new accountability plan, services to assist underperforming schools and collaborative early childhood education measures.

An A-F accountability system provides greater transparency regarding school performance. That system encourages accelerated coursework to help students become more ready for college.

The plan includes services to assist underperforming schools and districts through a revised model for school improvement.

WTVA – MISSISSIPPI LAWMAKERS VOTE TO TOUGHEN DOG FIGHTING PENALTIES

Senate Bill 2934 is awaiting Gov. Phil Bryant’s signature or veto after Mississippi’s House and Senate passed it Tuesday. The bill would make participation in dogfighting a felony offense, punishable by a fine up to $5,000.

Those who promote or stage fights, bet on fights, own a dog with intent to enter it into a fight or own dogfighting paraphernalia could be sentenced to between one and five years in prison. Repeat offenses are punishable by a fine between $5,000 and $10,000, and prison sentences between three and 10 years.

State Rep. Baria picks up US Senate endorsements from Democrat colleagues