Marco fizzles out, Laura up next

Tropical Storm Marco thankfully underwhelmed meteorologists Monday as it fizzled at due to wind shear.  It is now considered a remnant as it moves westward across the Gulf.

Laura, however, is expected to reach Hurricane strength later today. Its current projected path continues to take it to the Louisiana/Texas border, with landfall likely early Thursday morning.

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YP – GOMESA Funds to be split between Governor and Legislature in DMR budget

The Mississippi Legislature will convene Monday at 4:00 in what appears to be an attempt to finally set the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) budget for the 2021 Fiscal Year.

What is typically not a controversial state agency budget has caused disagreement between lawmakers and the Governor’s office. The opposing opinions surround the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act or GOMESA funds. These federal dollars come from a revenue-sharing model for oil and gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico and split between Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

This year, Mississippi received $51 million in GOMESA funds.

YP – President approves Mississippi’s request for emergency declaration

WLOX – Dr. Birx: If it’s safe to go into Starbucks in Mississippi, it’s safe to wait in line at the polls

Dr. Birx: If it’s safe to go into Starbucks in Mississippi, it’s safe to wait in line at the polls

In an interview with CBN News over the weekend, Dr. Birx discussed topics ranging from the safety of in-door church services, coronavirus vaccinations and the act of voting in November.

On the issue of voting at the polls, Dr. Birx said that it has been safe for her to go into Starbucks and pick up her order. “If I can go into Starbucks in the middle of Texas and Alabama and Mississippi that have very high [coronavirus] case rates, then I can’t say that it would be different waiting in line in the polls.”

MSDH reports 78,405 cases

YP – Mike Parker, a Democrat turned Republican former MS Congressman, joins ‘Republicans for Biden’

It’s been nearly 20 years since most Mississippians have heard from former Congressman Mike Parker.  Hence it is not of super substantial political importance in Mississippi that he is now endorsing Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden.  But there is a growing trend of moderate/liberal Republicans publicly voicing support either for Joe Biden or against Donald Trump.

Parker is now part of more than two dozen former Republican Congressmen who announced their support for the former Vice President in a release touting ‘Republicans for Biden,’ an effort headlined by former Arizona U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, an outspoken critic of the President Donald Trump.

YP – Fitch urges Congress to expand funding for crime victims

WDAM – Analysis: 315 absentee ballots were rejected in Mississippi’s March presidential primary

Analysis: 315 absentee ballots were rejected in Mississippi’s March presidential primary

According to an NPR analysis, 315 absentee ballots were rejected in Mississippi’s March presidential primary.

Mississippi’s 315 rejected ballots is the smallest amount of rejected ballots on the list of 30 states that were analyzed. The number of rejected ballots in the other 20 states was unavailable.

Across the US, more than 550,000 absentee ballots were rejected in this year’s presidential primaries – more than 200,000 more than 2016′s general election where 318,000 ballots were rejected.

YP – MSGOP Chair commits states’ delegates to Trump at RNC

WLBT – State Auditor says Mississippi Department of Education has ignored state law regarding CARES Act money

The State Auditor says the goal for the COVID-19 stimulus dollars was to help schools expand distance learning.

State Auditor Shad White has written a letter to Governor Tate Reeves, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, and Philip Gunn, Speaker of the House regarding Coronavirus Relief Funds and the Mississippi Department of Education.

White says he has concerns MDE has ignored state law and made it more difficult for schools to purchase technology using money from the CARES Act.

White says the goal of the money was to help schools expand distance learning capabilities. He says MDE is forcing school districts to choose companies on their preferred list and locks out some vendors.