Sen. Wicker expresses reservations over President’s emergency border declaration

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today commended President Trump and Senators who are reportedly working together to provide almost $6 billion for border walls and fencing while averting a Constitutional challenge over the separation of legislative and executive powers. A number of Senate Republicans are negotiating an agreement that would amend the Emergency Powers Act to provide for affirmative Congressional consent for future emergency declarations.

President Trump currently has transfer authority of up to $4 billion within the Department of Defense budget and the Treasury Forfeiture Fund that can be used to build border walls. In addition, Congress appropriated $1.375 billion for this purpose in February.

“For over 20 years in the House and Senate, I have voted for funds to build more than 600 miles of border structure,” said Wicker. “The funds currently available to President Trump will allow our country to continue building the border wall in the near term. I commend the President for his efforts to secure our nation’s border quickly.”

“However, I have serious reservations as to what the Emergency Declaration might do to the Constitutional principle of checks and balances. The precedent we set this year might empower a future liberal President to declare emergencies to enact gun control or to address ‘climate emergencies,’ or even to tear down the wall we are building today. For these reasons, I support my colleagues in looking for a way to advance President Trump’s Border Security Plan while preserving the invaluable concept of separation of powers. The system of checks and balances established by the Founders has preserved our democracy. It is essential that we protect this balance even when it is frustrating or inconvenient.”


WDAM – Runoff to determine House District 101 special election

Runoff to determine House District 101 special electionKent McCarty and Steven Utroska will advance to the April 2 runoff after the unofficial results were tallied, according to Lamar County Circuit Clerk Martin Hankins. The winner will fill the seat vacated by Brad Touchstone, who was elected to serve as Lamar County Judge.

McCarty received 38.69 percent of the votes with a total of 1,238 votes, while Utroska finished with 23.47 percent and a total of 751 votes.

WLOX – Mississippi House passes fetal heartbeat abortion bill

The House on Monday amended and passed Senate Bill 2116 , which would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks into pregnancy. The House and Senate must work out differences in their respective bills before it moves forward to Gov. Phil Bryant…

…Bryant has said he would sign the new bill into law.

WLBT – Lawmakers pass bill making “visual examinations” legal in Mississippi

Holland speaks from experience, since he also works as an undertaker in Tupelo.

“They’re doing these things they call ‘visuals’ now, where they just look at the body. Well, there’s no way you can professionally in my opinion make a true sound judgment of what killed a person that way.”

That procedure will soon be perfectly legal in Mississippi, even though a 3 On Your Side investigation revealed last year that visual, or external, examinations have already been performed for more than four years in some cases, against many coroners’ wishes.

SB 2161, once signed into law, will allow for minimally invasive autopsy procedures at the discretion of the state medical examiner or pathologist.

“The problem is, we’re simily asking the state medical examiner to perform more autopsies than are humanly possible. We’ve tried to employ more people, and that’s difficult. So we continue to do everything we can to get resources to the state crime lab,” State Sen. Hob Bryan (D-Amory) said.

Gibert hosts fundraiser for Michael Watson for Sec. of State headlined by Gov. Bryant


WLOX – Home of Medgar Evers to become national monument

Home of Medgar Evers to become national monumentMississippi Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith have commended President Trump for signing legislation that would designate the home of Medgar and Myrlie Evers as a national monument within the National Park System.

The Evers home is currently a Mississippi landmark under the State Antiquity Law and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Medgar and Myrlie Evers are heroes whose contributions to the advancement of civil rights in Mississippi and our nation cannot be overstated,” said Sen. Wicker in a press release today.

“With the enactment of this legislation, the Evers family home will stand as a national monument that not only honors the sacrifices of the Evers family but all those, who during the civil rights movement, risked their lives for fair treatment of all,” Sen. Hyde-Smith added.

Kohler Engines expanding in Hattiesburg


WDAM – Duck hunting season expansion measure signed into law

A bill containing legislation by Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith was signed into law on Tuesday by President Donald Trump. The legislation allows states to extend duck hunting season to Jan. 31 and schedule special hunts for veterans, military and youths.

Trump signed the Natural Resources Management Act after it passed the Senate and House with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill includes public lands, natural resources and water bills, according to Hyde-Smith’s office.

“The President signing this bill caps a long-fought effort by sportsmen over the years to bring some common sense to how federal duck hunting seasons are scheduled,” Hyde-Smith said in a news release.

Hyde-Smith comments on POTUS budget plan


CLARION LEDGER – Sid Salter: Hot Republican Primary: Will Fitch, Baker or Taggart become party’s first AG since 1878?

The 2019 Mississippi Republican primary for attorney general will pit three veteran GOP politicians against each other for the right to become Mississippi’s first GOP attorney general since George Emrick Harris in 1878.

The Republican winner will face Democrat candidate U.S. Army Col. Jennifer Riley Collins (Ret.), a decorated military intelligence officer and civil rights attorney. Collins is the only African American candidate in the race. She is a highly credible candidate…

…The GOP primary for attorney general should see one of the more hotly contested races on the 2019 down ticket ballot. In Baker, Fitch and Taggart, GOP voters will see three qualified, motivated and politically passionate candidates who aren’t acquainted with losing campaigns. Something, as they say, has to give.

Gov. Bryant shares Gov. Noem’s hemp veto message


WLOX – Auditor’s office returned over $50,000 to taxpayers in February

See the source imageState Auditor Shad White announced on Tuesday that his office returned $52,780.09 to Mississippi taxpayers last month, after investigations by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor determined public funds were stolen or misused. A significant amount was recovered from Chris Smith, who was issued a demand letter in January 2019.

The State Auditor’s Office recovered $25,000 in February from Smith, the former director of accounting and finance at the Mississippi Board of Animal Health.