President Trump Acquitted – Wicker, Hyde-Smith vote “not guilty”


WLOX – Mississippi Senate unanimously approves teacher pay raise bill

Mississippi Senate unanimously approves teacher pay raise billYou often hear about the political divisions that spark debate at the State Capitol. Wednesday, there was a much different picture…one of bi-partisanship.

“This is the first bill,” said Senate Education Chairman Dennis DeBar. “It’s a priority for us and we think it’s a good start.”

Senator DeBarr explains that Senate Bill 2001 would give teachers an across the board raise of 1,000 dollars. Those just starting out get a slightly higher bump of $1,110 which brings starting pay in the state up to $37,000.

MS House officially seats Jackson-McCray (HD 40), ends election challenge – Dems release statement


YP – Auditor Shad White Arrests Former Director of DHS and Co-Conspirators in Largest Public Embezzlement Case in State History


CLARION LEDGER – Mississippi politicians use a loophole to pocket campaign cash

Many state politicians still maintain large sums of this old money, and several recently used it for purposes that would violate the 2017 reform law, a Clarion Ledger review of secretary of state filings found. The federal government and most states ban using campaign money for personal reasons and require candidates to donate excess funds to charity or other political causes.

Secretary of State Michael Watson said the old and new campaign finance rules are confusing, and he wants to phase out the use of old money. It’s one of several transparency measures the Republican said he will push for, including building a more easily searchable campaign finance database.

“I’m pretty sure you’re going to keep seeing this question (of old money) resurface,” said Watson, adding legislators may want to put the controversy behind them…

…Watson said he wants to do away with the old money loophole in the state’s campaign finance law, a change that would need to be approved by the Legislature. Such a change might require politicians to either claim the old money for themselves, or transfer it to a new account. “You’d basically force the hand” of the official, he said.

YP – DOJ announces investigation into MS prison conditions; AG Lynn Fitch comments


DAILY LEADER – Judge: Mississippi parole officers ‘underpaid & overworked’

As Mississippi lawmakers seek ways to improve a prison system shaken by recent deadly violence, a related problem is looming: A judge said Tuesday that parole officers are “woefully underpaid and overworked.”

Circuit Judge Prentiss Harrell said parole officers often handle hundreds of cases each. That has contributed to an increase in the prison population, because a growing number of ex-inmates are being returned to prison for parole violations.

Mississippi remains one of the nation’s poorest states, with one of the highest incarceration rates…

…Senate Judiciary B Committee Chairman Brice Wiggins said Tuesday that it’s too early to know whether legislators will set aside money for the state to hire more probation and parole officers.

“We realize that this is a significant issue and we’ve got to look at that,” said Wiggins, a Republican from Pascagoula.

YP – Governor Reeves Announces Criteria for MDOC Commissioner

Sen. Wicker chairs Commerce Committee hearing on Athlete Safety and Integrity in Sports