YP – Speaker Gunn says he, Lt. Gov. Hosemann pushing forward with 2021 session as scheduled

Despite news last week that Mississippi Senators were discussing a possible delay to the start of the 2021 session, Speaker Philip Gunn said Monday morning that plans are to gavel in January 5, 2021 and move through the session as scheduled.

Multiple state senators were considering a possible delay to the start of the session due to ongoing concerns over COVID-19 but the Speaker of the House says he and Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann are not in talks to that end.

“We are, at this point, we’re planning to start at January 5,” said Speaker Gunn who joined Paul Gallo on SuperTalk Radio.

YP – PEER Releases Report on Mississippi’s Emergency Powers Laws, Actions Taken During COVID-19

The Mississippi Legislative PEER Committee is releasing its report titled A Legal Analysis of Mississippi’s Emergency Powers Statutes and Actions Taken During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Some of the Committee’s major findings include…

  • The Governor’s executive orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of which appear to exceed the scope of the Governor’s emergency powers conferred by law, were generally directed toward the protection of Mississippi citizens.  However, current state emergency management laws on which the orders were based lacked formal provisions for the Legislature to have oversight of policy for long-term emergencies.
  • Executive orders issued by the mayors of the City of Jackson, the City of Holly Springs, and the City of Greenville to address the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to abridge the fundamental freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution and the Mississippi Constitution.

Dr. Dobbs says vaccine will be here ‘by next week’

MSDH daily COVID-19 reporting

YP – Vicksburg Mayor Flaggs ups ante on COVID enforcement – non-compliant businesses may face utility cut off

On Friday, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs held a press conference to enact a civil emergency order that mandates mask wearing in the city while also requiring temperature checks at social gatherings, retail businesses, restaurants and bars in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19 in his area.  Enforcement of that order could result, according to Flaggs, in water and gas services being cut off for businesses that do not comply with mask enforcement…

…Flaggs said he supports a statewide mask mandate but he thinks it is up to the Governor to use the best means he can to get to the same results, adding that there are other ways to do that without making it mandatory.

“I have spoken indirectly with the Governor.  I think the Governor is aware of what is going on and I have every reason to believe that in the next week he will take some action that would make it more hard to mitigate and to spread this disease,” Flaggs said.  “I won’t go into detail but I think that he’s about to do some things that will allow us to be in partnership from the Coast to the top of DeSoto County to Vicksburg to Meridian. I think the time has come in this state that we talk with one voice and I think that voice ought to be the Governor of the state.”

YP – AG Fitch announces settlement with Nationstar

YP – FCC Awards Mississippi $495 million for Broadband Expansion

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced today its Phase 1 recipients of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction. Mississippi, along with many other states across the country, will receive a total of $9.2 billion to expand high-speed internet services…

…The grant money was awarded via reverse auction in which providers competed to for the funds based on their ability to provide the service and costs of infrastructure expansion. These federal dollars are in addition to the $75 million allocated by Mississippi’s Legislature in 2020.

“I appreciate the leadership of Senator Roger Wicker for his own efforts in securing these funds for our state,” Chairman Maxwell added. “I also commend the work of all of our local providers who participated in this process to further expand their footprints of high-speed services.”

Wicker’s RESTAURANTS Act touted by Mississippi restaurant owner

YP – Congressman Trent Kelly promoted to Major General

Congressman Trent Kelly has been officially promoted to the rank of Major General in the Mississippi Army National Guard.  This makes the First District Republican the highest ranking military officer currently serving in the United States Congress.

Kelly also serves as the Assistant Adjutant General of the Mississippi Army National Guard.

Congressman Thompson to speak on credit webinar

YP – MDE: Drop in Kindergarteners, Jump in Homeschoolers Drive Enrollment Decline

The Mississippi Department of Education’s (MDE) preliminary analysis of public-school enrollment for the 2020-21 school year shows a drop in kindergarteners and spike in homeschoolers have driven the statewide decline in enrollment this year.

As of September 30, 2020, 442,627 students had enrolled in Mississippi public schools, a more than 23,000 drop from last September’s total of 465,913.

YP – SOS Watson presents Tidelands check to DMR

YP – Former Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Tribal Council Member Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

Randy Lamar Anderson, 46, of Conehatta, a former elected member of the Tribal Council for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, entered a plea of guilty Thursday before Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to federal wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Michelle A. Sutphin of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.

A Federal Grand Jury originally indicted Anderson on February 6, 2019, charging him with one count of theft and two counts of wire fraud for defrauding the Choctaw Tribal government.

YP – Ag Commissioner Gipson announces 56th Dixie National Rodeo