Lt. Governor-elect Hosemann names Upchurch, Smith to lead transition team

Lieutenant Governor-elect Delbert Hosemann named two former Secretary of State staffers to his transition team today. Nathan Upchurch, who most recently served as the Agency’s Chief of Staff, will serve as the Transition Director.  Leah Rupp Smith, former Director of Communications, will serve as Deputy Transition Director.

CLARION LEDGER – It’s official: Democrat Shanda Yates flips longtime Mississippi Republican seat in House

Jackson attorney Shanda Yates, a Democrat, formally won House District 64 this week, upsetting Republican Bill Denny.

Democrat Shanda Yates, a 38-year-old attorney, has successfully flipped a Mississippi House district in Northeast Jackson held by Republican Bill Denny for three decades.

The result of the tight Nov. 5 race was only finalized Monday after the Hinds County Election Commission tallied up affidavit and absentee votes in recent days, Yates confirmed on social media, adding the final difference was 168 votes.

“This was a super close race that should remind everyone that every single vote matters at the end of the day!” Yates wrote. She will represent District 64, which covers northeast Jackson and part of Madison County. The Legislature convenes Jan. 7.

Espy talking with Clinton Center


HATTIESBURG AMERICAN – Mississippi improves to an A for human trafficking laws

House Speaker Philip Gunn shows the state's A report card for human trafficking laws.

Mississippi has improved to an A on the latest report on states’ human trafficking laws after lawmakers passed a new law this year imposing tougher penalties for sex trafficking and treating minors involved in prostitution as victims.

Mississippi has made steady progress in fighting human trafficking. Six years ago, the state was rated a D.

Nationally: States improve on fighting juvenile sex trafficking

“Last year, our state had a grade of “B” on our legislative report card, and it was our intent during last year’s session to improve that grade,” House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, said in a statement. “We all know that it takes strong laws to begin to address this horrific crime, and we’ll continue to make improvements with support services for all involved in this effort.”

Bryant: 80% graduation rates, working hard to improve schools


Senators announce $19.7 million rural water improvements


WJTV – Hemp Task Force meeting at Capitol

US Senate backs Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act


WLOX – Bill would support climate change research at coastal universities

Bill would support climate change research at coastal universities

Tuesday, Palazzo signed on as one of the first cosponsors of bipartisan legislation to allow the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish National Centers of Excellence at coastal universities and colleges.

Rep. Jimmy Panetta’s Coastal Resilience Research and Education Act gives NOAA the authority to designate National Centers of Excellence in Coastal Resilience Research and Education. The designation means the school exhibits national leadership in research and education focused on climate and coastal adaptation and mitigation, and formalizes collaboration and partnerships with federal agencies. These relationships will ensure science-based research, information, and policy recommendations are effectively shared with the federal government.

“My hope is that introducing this legislation will leverage the coastal research being conducted at universities throughout the United States, including my alma mater, Southern Miss. This bill allows those institutions to be designated as National Centers of Excellence and provide expert advice and guidance for our federal agencies focused on coastal resiliency. It’s important to form these partnerships and utilize existing research that will further our understanding of America’s coastlines,” said Congressman Palazzo.