NEWSMS – Bryant talks 2020 budget recommendations

Governor Phil Bryant recently outlined his budget priorities and recommendations for 2020. Among a long list of items was a teacher pay raise, increasing public safety funding and pay raises for the MDOC, as well as, protecting the state’s retirement system.

“If projections are right, and now we are coming in ahead of projections, there will be additional funding available to invest,” Bryant said. “Almost $45 million just now and we have got a long way to go until March when we will get the final numbers, but when you look at this budget, it has $143 million more year to year that is projected to come in and we are $45 million ahead of those projections.”

The teacher pay raise would cost the state $50 million and would be spread out over two years. Bryant said the state’s revenue is expected to increase by 2.6% and he has recommended putting away 2% of that into the Rainy Day Fund.

“We will put 2% of all of the $5.8 billion into the Rainy Day fund and putting our savings account over $400 million,” Bryant said.

Amazon bringing fulfillment center with 850 jobs to Marshall County

WDAM – Sen. McDaniel hosts annual turkey giveaway, talks political future

The former U.S. Senate candidate said “all options are on the table” as far as his political future goes.

In November, McDaniel, a Republican representing District 42, lost a bid for the U.S. Senate in a special election to fill the unexpired term of retired Senator Thad Cochran.

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Espy in a run-off.

McDaniel believes his political future is bright and says he’s even gotten words of support from President Trump, who publically supported Hyde-Smith in the Senate campaign.

“I talked to President Trump the other day on the phone,” McDaniel said. “We had about a twenty minute conversation. He was very supportive. He wants me to engage somewhere. He indicates that he’d like to support me in something and who knows, who knows what that looks like. But, I’m very fortunate to have him on my side.”

CLARION LEDGER – Ingalls Shipyard scores $930.8 million contract

Lawmakers say a Mississippi shipyard has been awarded a $930.8 million contract to build the 10th and 11th U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutters.

U.S. Sens. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker and U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, in a news release, said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security contract award to Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula has a total potential value of $1.7 billion.

Hyde-Smith says the move marks the first time two cutters have been awarded on the same contract. Wicker says the award to Huntington Ingalls is recognition of the “hard work and expertise” of Mississippi’s shipbuilders.

WTOK – Mississippi school teacher appointed as constable, fills husband’s shoes

When the Jasper County, Mississippi District 1 Constable died Dec 3, his school teacher wife was appointed to fill his shoes as constable.
The board has appointed Angela Terrell to assume the roll of 47-year-old Greg Terrell, who had served as constable for five terms, according to a report from WDAM-TV.
Angela says she hopes she’ll to honor her husband’s legacy, while representing residents in the district.

She says she feels taking the appointment is what “Greg wanted me to continue to do.”

Mississippi Future Caucus to host summit on College Voting

DAILY JOURNAL – Analysis: Pension plan outlook rosier with funding increase

After mandating an increase in employer contributions to Mississippi’s public pension system, projections reported to the Public Employees Retirement System show its finances look to be in good shape – at least for now.

But that assessment comes with a caveat. Investment returns, economic conditions or state employee levels could change over the next 30 years and changes in any of those could change the projected outcomes.

“The results, collectively, are positive,” said the system’s executive director, Ray Higgins said last week after a presentation to the board by actuaries. “PERS is stable, but we’re not perfect.”

The whole goal with PERS is to improve its current position – where actuaries project its $27.7 billion in assets is 61.8 percent what’s needed in the future to pay off benefits employees and retirees have already earned. The board wants to reach at least 80 percent funding by 2047.

SUNHERALD – Mississippi law firm accused of failing to discover Ponzi scheme

An attorney trying to recover money from a $100 million Ponzi scheme in Mississippi says a law firm should have known about the scheme.

News outlets reported a federal complaint by court-appointed receiver Alysson Mills says the law firm and others contributed to the facade that made the scheme look legitimate to investors.

The complaint says Butler Snow and the founder and president of Butler Snow Advisories Services LLC, Matt Thornton, as well as Brent Alexander and Jon Seawright of the law firm Baker Donelson, helped Lamar Adams and Madison Timber.

State Sen. Wiggins talks 2019 Legislative session with WLOX