YP – Two weeks after Election Day, Y’all Politics calls MS Supreme Court race for Griffis

One race in Mississippi still has not been called two weeks after the November 3rd General Election, that is the Mississippi Supreme Court race between Justice Kenny Griffis and Judge Latrice Westbrooks for the District 1, Position 1 seat.

However, with only one county left to report its absentee ballots, some 1,800 or so in Holmes County, it appears that Justice Griffis will be declared the winner as Judge Westbrooks is unlikely to overcome his nearly 15,000 vote lead.  As such, Y’all Politics is calling this race in favor of Griffis.

The reason for the slow results have come down to absentee ballot counting in a handful of counties, namely Bolivar, Hinds, Holmes, Rankin and Washington.

YP – Governor Tate Reeves releases Executive Budget proposal and talks COVID-19 on Facebook live

In the budget documents, Governor Reeves proposes to eliminate the income tax for Mississippians. The elimination of the income tax would save a Mississippian making $40,000 nearly $2,000. As Lt. Governor, Reeves passed the “Taxpayer Pay Raise Act,” that began the phase-out of the 3% income tax.  FY 2022 is the first year for the 3% income tax to be completely eliminated and is the right time to begin a complete phase-out of the income tax.

“Because this plan is a phased approach, we will be able to ensure adequate funding will be available for education, law enforcement, health care, and transportation priorities,” Governor Reeves said. “It will not be necessary for us to increase other taxes in order to make up for lost revenue from the elimination of the income tax.”

The budget summary also highlights funding the police, protecting small businesses, creating a Patriotic Education Fund, supporting quality education, increasing workforce development, funding the Coronavirus response, funding the judiciary, and protecting the integrity of Medicaid.

YP – MSDH: Free COVID-19 Testing Available 

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is offering additional free COVID-19 testing through the Office of Preventive Health and Health Equity.

This new testing opportunity is in addition to the regular testing already being done by MSDH. No appointment is necessary, and participants do not have to have symptoms of COVID-19 to be tested.

YP – Governor Tate Reeves Adds Additional Counties Under Mask Mandate

Governor Tate Reeves announced additional counties that have qualified to be under mask mandates under his “Safe Recovery” executive order that is in effect through December 11th.

The following counties are: Hinds, Madison, Pontotoc, Tate, Winston, Itawamba, and Montgomery counties. As of now, 22 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are included in this executive order.

MSDH COVID-19 report

YP – Southaven Mayor Musselwhite pushes back on Reeves, Dobbs over COVID-19 in DeSoto County

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite took to Facebook over the weekend to push back on comments made by Governor Tate Reeves and State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs on the impact of COVID-19 in DeSoto County…

…Now, the purpose of my message today is to clarify misleading statements by Governor Reeves and Mississippi’s Chief Health Official, Dr. Thomas Dobbs. I mean no disrespect to either and don’t believe either has any ill intent, but both of their recent comments are, very frankly, astounding to me and not accurate at all about our city and county. Governor Reeves’ analogy and statements suggesting DeSoto County has an excessive positive case increase compared to other Mississippi heavily-populated counties are simply not correct. 

Chaney shares fire tips ahead of holiday

YP – Undercover Human Trafficking Operation Results in Arrests

The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation Special Victims Unit conducted a joint undercover human trafficking operation on Friday, November 13, in Oxford resulting in the arrests of 6 individuals who were charged with procuring prostitution.

“Human trafficking is a destructive crime that diminishes the value of human life,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “My office will continue to work with private and public federal, state, and local partners, including our partners at MBI, to hold those who engage in this modern slavery accountable to the fullest extent of the law and seek justice for those who are its victims.”

Wicker, Hyde-Smith work to have Mississippi judges confirmed

WDAM – Miss. Sen. Fillingane appointed to leadership role in Judiciary Committee

Miss. Sen. Fillingane appointed to leadership role in Judiciary Committee

As the year winds down, state lawmakers are looking toward the coming year and preparing for the next legislative session.

Several members in the state senate will be taking over new committee roles due to vacancies created there.

Mississippi District 41 Sen. Joey Fillingane will be the new chair of the Judiciary B Committee, which was left vacant after District 42 Sen. Brice Wiggins was appointed chair to the Judiciary A Committee.

These committee leaders have influence over legislation brought before them.