YP – House Appropriations Committee passed teacher pay raise deficit bill

Wasting no time, the Mississippi House of Representatives Appropriations Committee passed HB 1, the teacher pay raise deficit bill. The bill covers the amount needed to ensure all Mississippi teachers received the $1,500 raise appropriated during the 2019 Legislative Session.

RELATED: MDE had over 9,000 teachers unaccounted for – pay raise now to cost nearly $77M

The bill was brought up by Rep. Richard Bennett who explained that due to some coding issues the legislature was short just over $18.4 million in last years raise. The issue was a combination of improper coding from the Mississippi Department of Education as well as teachers listed under the wrong codes within school districts.

Randle opts out of #MSSen run 


YP – Medical Marijuana initiative gets on the November ballot

Initiative 65 will ask voters, “Should Mississippi allow qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions, as certified by Mississippi licensed physicians, to use medical marijuana?”

The proposal is to amend the state Constitution to allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana. The amendment would allow medical marijuana to be provided only by licensed treatment centers, and the Mississippi State Department of Health would regulate and enforce the provisions of this amendment.

WDAM – Miss. Board of Health expresses ‘strong opposition’ to medical marijuana ballot initiative

Miss. Board of Health expresses ‘strong opposition’ to medical marijuana ballot initiative

While the board noted the potential medical benefits of marijuana, cannabidoil and THC, they also said there were numerous known harms of using cannabis products, including: addiction, mental illness, increased accidents, and smoking related harms.

The board also felt the proposed amendment gave very broad uses of medical marijuana, i.e. ‘pain management,’ and they felt they would have no ability to restrict the consumption of edibles or THC.

Because of this and other reasons, the Mississippi State Board of Health expressed their ‘strong opposition’ to the Medical Marijuana 2020 Ballot Initiative.

DAILY LEADER – Currie named to special committee to hear election challenge

Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, was named Wednesday to a legislative committee that will hear the election challenge of former Rep. Ashley Henley of Southaven, according to media reports…

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…“Elections are elections. It’s not a guaranteed position,” Jackson-McCray told Mississippi Today. “Anybody could come along and beat you. I just beat you fair and square. Hard work just beat you this time. She has the right to go through the technicalities, but I think if people read this notice she’s putting out, it looks like she’s arguing that her own party didn’t manage the election right. The election was run by Republicans. The DeSoto County election commissioners are Republicans. The Secretary of State is a Republican.”

The committee that will hear the petition is made up of four Republicans and one Democrat.

Espy calls for seating Hester Jackson-McCray in state House


Mississippi revenues still coming in strong in December 2019


WTOK – Mississippi leaders in Washington discuss tension between U.S. and Iran

…Mississippi senator Roger Wicker said Tuesday’s Iranian attack could be a sign that Iran is willing to back down.

“There are more severe things the Iranian regime could have done so I think we may be in a period of dialing back the severity of this, I think that was the tone of the president’s remarks today,” said Wicker.

President Trump introduced new sanctions in response to Iran’s behavior.

No one died in Tuesday’s missile strike, one reason Mississippi representative Steve Palazzo says Americans shouldn’t be worried.

“I think Americans and American service members are safe,” said Palazzo. “I think Iran would be foolish to do anything to escalate this war because whatever they do, we’re going to do 100 times worse to them.”

Wicker, Hyde-Smith recommend Judge Cory Wilson at U.S. Senate Judiciary Hearing


CLARION LEDGER – Mississippi narcotics chief John Dowdy repays $30K after questionable spending

John Dowdy, director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, walks through marijuana fields, valued at $70 million or more, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Jefferson Davis County. The bust marks the second in the county in just over a year. Last year around $20 million in marijuana plants were found.

Despite his insistence that he spent no money improperly, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy has repaid more than $30,122 to MBN.

Dowdy was asked to repay the money after the office of state Auditor Shad White released a report in December critical of Dowdy’s spending on clothing and compensatory pay, also known as comp time buybacks. A spokesman for the auditor’s office confirmed Wednesday that Dowdy had repaid the money to MBN.

WXXV – Pascagoula mayoral election set for February 11th

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After a vote at last night’s city council meeting, the City of Pascagoula now has a date set for their mayoral election.

Citizens of Pascagoula will choose their new leader on February 11th.  This seat was made empty by Dane Maxwell. He is now moving into his new role as the Southern District Public Service Commissioner. He was elected in 2016.