WTOK – Republicans outnumber Democrats in legislative races

Democrats are running for only slightly more than half the seats in the House and Senate, while Republicans are running for a larger number.

The Mississippi House has 122 seats. Republicans are running for 80, Democrats are running for 68, a Libertarian is running for one and independent candidates are running for 12.

The state Senate has 52 seats. Republicans are running for 38, Democrats are running for 28, a Libertarian is running for one and independent candidates are running for two.

WJTV – Teacher pay raise plan heads to Mississippi House

A $1,000 pay raise for Mississippi teachers is heading for debate in the state House.

The proposal is in Senate Bill 2770, which cleared the House Education Committee on Monday and the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.

Senators had proposed paying $500 a year for two years in the form of an annual bonus. The Education Committee changed the bill to distribute the raise evenly across all paychecks.

The bill would also boost the long-frozen salaries of assistant teachers from $12,500 to $13,500 over the same two years.

WLOX – Bill to help first responders with occupational diseases moves to House floor

Bill to help first responders with occupational diseases moves to House floorIn fact, chiefs and firefighters on the Coast are pushing for a new law designed to help Mississippi first responders facing life-threatening illnesses they may have contracted while performing life-saving acts.

Sen. Joel Carter authored the bill that would provide disability and death benefits to first responders with occupational cancer and other diseases.

The bill passed the Senate floor and made it out alive of 2 House committees.

WCBI – Voting restoration begins with Legislature









HATTIESBURG AMERICAN – Should parents be notified when sex offenders work around their kids? A new bill says yes.

A bill pending in the Mississippi Legislature would require employers of registered sex offenders to notify parents or guardians of minors who might be in contact with the employee.

Rep. Joey Hood, R-Ackerman said it will require a good faith effort by a business to notify parents if a sex offender will have constant contact with minors under 18.

The bill would apply to all registered sex offenders regardless of the date of conviction. It says an employer acting in good faith to notify parents would not be held liable in any civil or criminal action if they failed to do so…

See the source image…Sen. Sally Doty, R-Brookhaven, the author of the new bill, believes Mississippi law should spell out that “convicted sex offenders cannot work with children in any capacity without proper and verifiable notification to the child’s parent.

CLARION LEDGER – Sid Salter: Why a surprise GOP primary to replace Delbert Hosemann, and why did Sam Britton jump in?

Britton’s perceived late entry into the race might signal an advantage to Watson in the GOP primary. But Watson could well have some issues of his own to overcome in the form of his close association with fellow Republican State Sen. Chris McDaniel’s rancorous 2014 challenge of then veteran Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

In that race, Watson was a key supporter and advisor to McDaniel, and when Cochran defeated McDaniel in a hotly-contested second primary, it was Watson who joined McDaniel and Jackson attorney Mitch Tyner in front of the media in launching a challenge first to the State Republican Executive Committee’s certification of the results of that election and later a legal challenge to overturn the results of the election. That effort failed when the courts ruled that the McDaniel brain trust had waited too long to file the challenge.

Interestingly, one of the ballots the McDaniel-Watson-Tyner group sought to disqualify was that cast by Hosemann…

…For Watson, the 2019 primary challenge will be whether Cochran’s friends and supporters remember 2014. For Britton, the 2019 challenge will be whether voters believe he was several months late to this particular race. 

ABB expanding in Senatobia


WLOX – Unemployment rate in MS at historic high while number of jobs near historic high

Unemployment rate in MS at historic low while number of jobs near historic highIn January 2019 Mississippi’s unemployment rate was 4.7%, which is the lowest level of unemployment ever recorded in Mississippi. The unemployment rate has now been at 4.7% for eight months in a row.

The January rate is the same as a month earlier in December 2018 and two-tenths of a percentage point lower than a year ago in January 2018 when the rate was 4.9%.

In January, the number of non-farm jobs in Mississippi declined by 700 to 1,161,900, which is the second highest number of jobs ever recorded in Mississippi. Still, over the year since January 2018, the number of jobs in our state increased by 10,900.

The Labor Force, which is made up of everyone who has a job or is looking for a job, declined in January by 1,300 to 1,273,700. Over the year since January 2018, the Labor Force fell by 2,700.

Hyde-Smith applauds Trump for action on veteran suicide


WTVA – Ole Miss ASB Senate votes to relocate Confederate statute on campus

NEWSMS – Mississippi leads way in workforce development 

Other states are learning from Mississippi. Governor Phil Bryant recently sat on a panel at the National Governor’s Association talking about workforce and regulatory reform where he shared about Mississippi’s progress.

“Mississippi is helping lead the way on that 80,000 new jobs since 2012,” said Bryant. “We’ve got the lowest unemployment in Mississippi history. There was a Wall Street Journal article just this weekend talking about how unemployment has been below 5% since September 2016 and it had never been below 5% in Mississippi’s history, so everyone wants to know what’s going on in Mississippi, how we are continuing to be able to lead the nation in that.”

Bryant added that they also shared early childhood education reforms like putting learning components into the daycare systems, and Mississippi’s growing high school graduation rate, as well as, the successes of the third-grade reading gate.

Wicker, Hyde-Smith meet with state levee boards


Congressman Thompson on Puerto Rico visit


Thompson, Luetkemeyer introduce bill strengthen partnerships between HBCUs and Homeland Security

Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, along with Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), introduced H.R. 1494, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Homeland Security Partnerships Act, which would strengthen the partnerships between HBCUs and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“For nearly two centuries, HBCUs have provided African Americans the opportunity to compete on a level playing field – and their alumni have contributed immeasurably to the American culture, economy, and government,” Chairman Thompson said. “Since its inception, DHS has realized the value in working with HBCUs – but the partnership is not as robust as it should be. Unfortunately, opportunities for minority students are often subpar. There is a wealth of knowledge and talent at HBCUs and it would undoubtedly be in our interest to ensure this knowledge and talent is utilized in defending the homeland.”

“The Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security understand the value of working with HBCUs. This bill will allow us to improve on past progress and provide additional opportunities to participate in federal programs,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer.“As a HBCU graduate representing Missouri’s third district and my alma mater, Lincoln University, I am proud to join Congressman Bennie Thompson in introducing this legislation to give HBCUs a level playing field when competing for federal grants and ensure students have access to DHS career and scholarship opportunities.”

In 2017, President Trump established an initiative to provide equitable opportunities for HBCUs to participate in Federal programs – however, in practice, the partnerships between DHS and HBCUs has fallen short of the Department’s stated priorities.

The HBCUs Homeland Security Partnerships Act would require DHS to issue a goal-based strategy to achieve stronger partnerships with HBCUs – and then monitor and report on that strategy, thereby ensuring the Department’s progress in providing contracting, research and development, and career opportunities to HBCUs and minority-serving institutions.