Mississippi House leaders are proposing a new plan that could put hundreds of millions more dollars into highways and bridges.
This comes as Gov. Phil Bryant has ordered more than 100 locally maintained bridges to be closed because federal officials say they are in dangerous condition.
Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn said Thursday that one part of the plan is a tax swap.
Over four years, the 4 percent income tax bracket would be phased out and a gasoline tax increase would be phased in. He says that would take about as much money out of the state budget as it would put in, but would direct more cash to infrastructure.
Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is repeating his opposition to any increase in the state gasoline tax.
That means state senators are unlikely to accept a big part of a transportation funding plan that House leaders unveiled Thursday.
I’m a Republican. I’m a conservative. And I am against raising anybody’s gas tax. https://t.co/B5XnaY8ENn
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) April 12, 2018
State Sen. Chris McDaniel calls Gov. Bryant’s bridge closures “a scare tactic… to justify a tax increase”
Bridge closings are a scare tactic, cleverly timed to justify a tax increase.
But didn’t we promise the voters that we wouldn’t raise taxes?
— Sen. Chris McDaniel (@senatormcdaniel) April 12, 2018
Dick Hall, the Chairman of the Mississippi Transportation Commission, said this proclamation gives MDOT the responsibility and authority to make sure that 106 county bridges are closed.
“It is specifically for the Mississippi Department of Transportation to close bridges that don’t meet the safety standards,” Hall said. “Governor Bryant gives us the instructions to go do that along with The Mississippi Department of Public Safety- they would be assisting us in this.”
Hall hopes that this problem will soon be resolved.
Gov. Phil Bryant has set July 10, 2018, as the special election date for House District 77. The seat recently became vacant when Gov. Bryant appointed former Rep. Andy Gipson commissioner of agriculture and commerce.
The qualifying deadline is May 21. If no candidate receives a majority of votes on July 10, a runoff will be held on July 31.
Mississippi State Senator Sally Doty is the winner of the Women in Politics Making a Difference Award.
Senator Doty is one of four women honored by the National Conference of State Legislators. NCSL grants the award by recognizing outstanding women who are making their marks in their legislatures and communities. Nominees are reviewed and selected to ensure that a bipartisan, diverse group of women is profiled.
Sen. Hyde-Smith meets with former Sen. Trent Lott
Appreciate former Majority Leader Trent Lott stopping by today to check in and wish me well. pic.twitter.com/2QYOblqyVV
— U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (@SenHydeSmith) April 11, 2018
A summons was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi formally notifying the city that a civil lawsuit has been filed against it. That summons gives the city 21 days to answer the complaint that was filed against Ocean Springs on April 4.
The plaintiffs named in the lawsuit include Mississippi Rising Coalition President Lea Campbell, Jackson County NAACP President Curley Clark, and Ronald Vincent, an African-American resident of Ocean Springs whose family members have lived in Ocean Springs since 1926.
The lawsuit specifically calls for the city to remove all public displays of the Mississippi state flag. It also requests that actual or punitive damages be decided at trial.
WLBT – State Supreme Court reverses and remands decision on 12 hospitals vs. MS Division of Medicaid
The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling on an appeal case filed by 12 Medicaid-participating hospital.
In Chancery Court, the hospitals challenged the state Department of Medicaid’s recalculation of their Medicaid outpatient rates for fiscal year 2001.
The court affirmed the opinion of the Department of Medicaid, but high court justices found error, reversing the lower court decision and ordering the Executive Director of the state Department of Medicaid to provide payments to the hospitals consistent with their opinion.
Sen. Wicker shares Ingalls Shipbuilding news on reactivating Pascagoula east bank
This is great news for our state and the many men and women of @HIIndustries who build some of the finest ships in the world. It comes at a critical point for our military, as Congress recommits to building up our @USNavy. Read my full statement here: https://t.co/mJWBVck96x https://t.co/E8aLSXQ3J7
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) April 12, 2018
Top national security House Democrats are demanding more information from the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on last week’s deployment of National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border.
“We require a clearer explanation of the impetus for this approach at a time when border crossings are at a 40-year low,” the lawmakers write in a Wednesday letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“As you are undoubtedly aware, border security has been a rigorously discussed topic over the past year. We are surprised and puzzled as to why neither of you nor other members of the Administration mentioned a possible deployment of the National Guard to the southern border before,” reads the letter, signed by House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam Smith(D-Wash.), Homeland Security Committee ranking member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
MDA Deputy Director Miller testifies on hurricane readiness at Congressional hearing
Today, I chaired a hearing on hurricane readiness. It was good to hear from @mdaworks‘s own Jamie Miller on how mitigation techniques have helped protect the Mississippi #GulfCoast since Katrina. Watch his testimony here. ▶ https://t.co/bpCt5oROgO
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) April 12, 2018
Gov. Bryant attends MEC annual event
It was wonderful seeing over 2,500 businessmen and women today at Mississippi Economic Council’s Annual Luncheon in Jackson, MS.
Preparing our Mississippi workforce for the future was heavily discussed during this year’s event. pic.twitter.com/Wbz5gts5zh
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) April 12, 2018