DAILY JOURNAL – Roger Wicker: Lawmakers deliver tax cuts, reverse military decline and roll back regulation

A full year has passed since Congress enacted the most significant tax reform of the past 31 years and its positive effects are still reverberating on the economy and on American lives.

The long-awaited overhaul of our outdated tax code was a milestone moment, leading to bigger paychecks, a simplified tax system and new jobs. The bill created Opportunity Zones to help spur business investment in our country’s most disadvantaged areas, and it incentivized employers to offer family and medical leave. American workers, families and communities have all benefited from the law’s provisions and the solid economic growth it has helped generate.

Comprehensive tax reform was hardly a one-hit wonder for this Congress. Many other significant legislative items have rounded out a notable and lengthy achievement list over the past two years. The most recent additions to that list are a prison reform bill to lower the recidivism rate among repeat offenders and a five-year farm bill to provide stability for our farmers.

WLOX – State Rep. Scott DeLano will not seek re-election

Rep. Scott Delano announced Wednesday morning that he will not be seeking re-election during the 2019 campaign.

DeLano took to social media, where the House District 117 representative thanked his constituents for allowing him to serve South Mississippi for the last ten years. Delano said he’s ready to bring a close to the legislative chapter of his career.

“Keep in mind. I have spent most of my adult life in one way or another serving the public,” said DeLano in his Facebook post. “Because I am closing this chapter of my life, it does not mean that I will be retiring from public service. I do not know what the future holds for me at this point but I love the coast and plan to be here forever.”

DAILY JOURNAL – Mississippi chief justice: Time for another to lead court

Mississippi chief justice: Time for another to lead court

After 21 years on the Mississippi Supreme Court and 10 years as chief justice, Bill Waller Jr. says it’s time for someone else to take the helm.

“I think it’s just a good time to have some fresh blood and for the court to reorganize under a new chief and frankly to give other folks the opportunity to be chief justice,” said Waller, who will resign Jan. 31.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Waller counted as successes a pay raise for judges, an expansion of drug courts, and an expanding electronic record system. The court also decreed criminal court rules that have helped defendants see judges more quickly, and get access to bail and public defenders.

Waller’s court has at times questioned problems with forensic evidence, but passed when asked to rule on the legality of Mississippi’s cap on punitive damages. He said his biggest regret is not getting a statewide system of county courts.

Bryant final State of the State set for January 15, 2019

WJTV – School finally renamed, following “racial” criticism of donor

WTVA – Census Bureau: Mississippi is among states losing population

The Census Bureau says Mississippi joined eight other states and Puerto Rico in losing population from July 2017 to July 2018.

A report released Wednesday estimates that Mississippi, with a population of nearly 3 million, was down by 3,122 residents.

Puerto Rico was hit hard by Hurricane Maria in September 2017 and lost 129,848 people during the year ending this July.

The states with the largest decline in population were in New York, down 48,510; Illinois, down 45,116; West Virginia, down 11,216; and Louisiana, down 10,840.

CLARION LEDGER – Sid Salter: What comes first in Mississippi? The chicken, the egg or the SBA poultry loan?

Studio portrait of Sid Salter. (photo by Beth Wynn / © Mississippi State University)

The 2016 National Chicken Council report found Mississippi poultry industry generated $914 million in federal taxes and $481 million in state and local taxes.

In their letter to SBA administrator Linda McMahon, Wicker and Hyde-Smith urged that a proposed rule to the SBA 7(a) Loan Program be changed to more accurately reflect the relationship between small contract growers and large producers, commonly referred to as integrators. Wicker and Hyde-Smith told McMahon that the SBA is a vital source of financing for many Mississippi poultry farmers.

“These independent poultry farmers are solely responsible for obtaining financing, supervising, managing day-to-day business and paying taxes. In no way are they partners, agents or employees of the integrator. The SBA 7(a) loan program provides essential access to financing for small family farmers,” the senators wrote.

“Access to capital is essential to the continued success of poultry production in Mississippi, and we respectfully request that you revise the SBA proposed rule so growers are not arbitrarily excluded from the SBA 7(a) loan program,” they said.

The SBA was receiving public comment on the proposed changes through Dec. 18. Expect the issue to continue to gain the attention of Mississippi’s congressional delegation during the 116th Congress.

Petal mayor, gubernatorial candidate Marx calls for removal of Burton

PSC warns of Netflix scam emails