State Sen. McDaniel continues church circuit rider tour


WLOX NEWS THIS WEEK – State Senator Chris McDaniel – The News for South Mississippi

Gov. Bryant, U.S. Senators Wicker, Hyde-Smith attend Airbus celebration in Columbus


DAILY JOURNAL – Angry officials squabble over troubled bridges

This whole drama started back in late 2016, when the Federal Highway Administration decided it wanted to take a closer look at low-rated bridges in Mississippi.

The agency’s assistant division administrator, Don Davis, told county supervisors at a meeting in January that a federal review found Mississippi had more low-rated bridges still open and carrying traffic than any other state. Federal officials ordered inspections of the 120 lowest-rated bridges. Of the first six they looked at, federal officials concluded four were unsafe and needed to be closed. Local governments were leaving 114 of the 120 bridges open, but federal officials concluded 65 of those bridges needed to be closed.

This is where everything went bad.

The feds concluded that counties and cities were leaving unsafe bridges open, and that the Office of State Aid Road Construction wasn’t effectively policing those local decisions. The feds ordered lots more inspections, first finding 89 of another 139 low-rated bridges unsafe, and then ordering the state to inspect all 2,200 bridges that have timber pilings underneath.

DAILY JOURNAL – Espy, Shelton offer similar campaign pitches

Shelton’s first campaign stump speech late last month emphasized his hometown roots, his City Hall record and urged voters to send the “next generation of leaders” to Washington, subtly emphasizing his relative youth.

In a conversation with a Daily Journal reporter, Espy unspooled a few details of how he’ll pitch himself to voters. He emphasized his experience in federal office, highlighted agriculture issues and talked about retaining young Mississippians to remain in the state.

But whether Espy and Shelton directly tangle or not, each man is attempting to claim a similar strategy, downplaying partisan affiliation, identifying as pragmatic and highlighting conservative credentials.

WJTV – EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Senator Roger Wicker talks about timber rights scheme

Robert Clark receives Honorary Doctorate of Public Service at MSU


VICKSBURG POST – Mississippi economy posts weak growth in 2017

Economic growth slowed in Mississippi in 2017, with economic growth ranking 46th among states.

Gross domestic product numbers released Friday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis measure economic output of each state.

Mississippi’s economy grew 0.3 percent in 2017, compared to 2 percent growth in 2016. Growth was led by wholesale trade and durable goods manufacturing. Weakness was widespread across the economy. Sectors shrinking included government, nondurable goods manufacturing, agriculture, construction and arts, entertainment and recreation.

SUNHERALD – Mississippians could legally bet on football games this season. Here’s what needs to happen.

MBJ – Bill Crawford: Time to ridicule legislative leaders?

Understand, Reeves and Gunn have known for years that tax revenues to pay for road and bridge repairs must be increased. The Mississippi Economic Council highlighted this need when it released a comprehensive study by its Transportation Infrastructure Task Force in December 2014. 
Good leaders would have kept this end in mind when considering tax legislation. They would have made these calculations before starting their tax battles. And, Reeves, who was so insistent on passing massive tax cuts during an election year, would have worked to find the best way, not in having his own way. 
Instead, unable to finish the needed financial foundation for transportation infrastructure, they leave us with this kind of yaya leadership:
“I am a conservative. I am a Republican. I am not for raising anybody’s taxes. But I don’t stop there. I’m for showing leadership, and for solving a problem.” – Gunn.
“I am a Republican. I am a conservative. I am against raising gas taxes.” – Reeves.
Ridicule now warranted.