Change. In terms of Mississippi government, change isn’t merely coming — and we’re talking major changes — it’s in great measure already here and identifiable.
At the end of this year, Mississippi will at the very least have elected a new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and state treasurer. We already have a state auditor and a state agriculture commissioner who are both still newly-minted by relatively recent gubernatorial appointments. The only veteran among our eight statewide elected officials who wants to return to his present post and remains unopposed is the state insurance commissioner.
And that doesn’t count members in both houses unseated in the normal ebb and flow of politics.
Jessica Bowman spoke with Senator Joey Fillingane, of District 41, about what’s being laid out on the table, currently and weeks to come inside the Mississippi State Capitol.
State senators are actively debating bills on the senate floor. Most recently, there have been two big topics to keep an eye on. The Youth Court Act and the Guard and Protect Vulnerable Children and Adults Act.
“To try and revise some of the provisions of the youth court level and for vulnerable children and vulnerable adults to make sure when they become incapacitated, maybe through alzheimer’s or dementia or something like that, we have laws in place to make sure their assets are protected,” Fillingane said.
Fillingane, who represents Covington, Forrest, Jefferson Davis, Lamar and Smith counties, said another big play coming forward is the controversial Fetal Heartbeat Bill, which will likely be taken up Wednesday.
“I’ll be handling that bill on the senate floor,” Fillingane said. “That basically says that the stage in a pregnancy where a fetal heartbeat is detected there cannot be an abortion at that point and after that, unless it’s for the safety and protection of the mother’s life.”
WJTV – Mississippi marriage license fee could increase
The Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System is on track to update its rules to let retired state government workers collect pension benefits while serving in the Legislature.
The system’s board voted Tuesday to direct the retirement system’s staff to draft a new rule, with a goal of having it in place by January.
The new rule would affect people who win legislative seats in this year’s round of state elections.
Gov. Bryant tweets on proposed “Parker’s Law”
Parker’s Law, that would allow for prosecution of a drug dealer if their product kills someone, is in jeopardy because the Liberals want to amend it to open sales of marijuana. https://t.co/NrvCeBSpeT
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) February 12, 2019
Healthcare, education and tax policy dominated as state Rep. Robert Foster pitched his candidacy for governor to local Republicans Monday.
A first-term state lawmaker from DeSoto County, Foster’s gubernatorial ambitions pit him against Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, whose own run for the state’s top executive post has long been expected.
Reeves and Foster are both Republicans.
“A lot of people tried to talk me out of it,” Foster said.
CLARION LEDGER – Women rally at Capitol to close gender pay gap, paid leave, other issues
The U.S. Senate approved a resolution package Tuesday that could extend duck hunting season to January 31st. The package would also include special hunts for military, veterans and youths.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service generally sets the duck hunting season deadline as the last Sunday in January.
The Natural Resource Management Act, which includes provisions authored by Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), was approved on a 92 to 8 vote.
“Sportsmen in Mississippi and across the country have long sought this change, and I hope we can finally get it done,” said Hyde-Smith.
Happy the Senate approved this package. It is fitting that we offer a couple of additional days of duck hunting for servicemembers, veterans, and youth. It is a gesture of appreciation that can also generate additional economic activity in states where hunting is a way of life. pic.twitter.com/0bNrT0q1pj
— U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (@SenHydeSmith) February 12, 2019
CLARION LEDGER – Michael Guest: A border wall is necessary to protect Mississippi communities from deadly drugs
The fight against drug trafficking in our country has been a continuous and devastating battle. Millions of American lives have been impacted, and we have seen the destructive power illegal drugs can unleash on a community. In an effort to better understand where these drugs are manufactured and how they enter our country, the Drug Enforcement Administration analyzes specific narcotics to identify their geographic sources. In 2017, 91 percent of heroin analyzed in the U.S. could be traced back to Mexico, 93 percent of the cocaine analyzed in the U.S. could be traced back to Columbia, and the amount of methamphetamine analyzed in the U.S. that was produced in Mexico could range as high as 97 percent. According to the 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment, the southwest border remains the primary entry point of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine coming into our county.