Governor Tate Reeves has won the case before the Mississippi Supreme Court involving a partial veto of HB 1782. It was filed by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Representative Jason White.
Governor Reeves vetoed a portion of the bill that appropriated $2 million to the North Oak Regional Medical Center and $6 million to the MAGnet Community Health Center from CARES Act funds.
“The Governor is obviously very pleased that the Court interpreted the constitution the way it was written. This will be an impactful decision—protecting taxpayer dollars—for a long, long time,” said Bailey Martin, Governor Reeves’ Press Secretary.
MSDH daily COVID-19 report
Today MSDH is reporting 2,261 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 26 deaths, and 236 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The total of #covid19 cases for the year is now 187,904, with 4,320 deaths. Case details and prevention guidance at https://t.co/YCv9xPQkuS pic.twitter.com/w9NSLesZWl
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) December 17, 2020
An audit released today by State Auditor Shad White shows widespread misspending at the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Actions by previous agency leadership and an absence of proper spending safeguards led to significant losses for taxpayers, according to the audit…
…“I want to thank the current staff of MDOC,” said Auditor White. “They brought many of these issues to us. Without them, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to uncover some of the misspending here. It is encouraging to see their proactive approach to fixing the problems.”
“I also applaud the diligent work of the auditors at the Office of the State Auditor for drilling down to discover the depths of these problems. It is infuriating to see such waste when more money needs to be spent on the frontline corrections officers and directly in Mississippi’s prisons,” said White.
YP – Mississippi Treasury Returns $18 Million in Missing Money, Highest Amount in Recent State History
Treasurer David McRae today announced the State Treasury has returned $18 million in missing money to Mississippians, the highest amount returned in a calendar year in recent state history.
“Thousands of Mississippians are missing money. For some, it was a bank account they forgot about; for others, an unknown inheritance; and still others, a refund that got mailed to an old address,” said Treasurer McRae. “It’s the State Treasury’s job to find that unclaimed money and return it to the rightful owner, and our team has made that a primary focus during my time in office. There is still more we have to return. Please visit Treasury.MS.gov and search for your name, a family member’s name, or a church or organization you’re a part of. You never know what could be found.”
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today said she is part of a bipartisan push to protect patients from surprise medical bills by including a legislative fix in a year-end spending bill.
Hyde-Smith, Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (La.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and others signed a letter asking Senate leadership to include a bicameral agreement on ending surprise medical billing practices in must-pass, year-end legislation. Hyde-Smith in 2019 cosponsored Cassidy’s STOP Surprise Medical Bill Act (S.1531).
YP – Palazzo honors late Staff Sergeant in House
— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) December 17, 2020
YP – Congress Adopts Wicker Plan to Improve Hurricane Forecasting, Storm Damage Claims, and Flood Mapping
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today cheered Senate passage of S. 914, The Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act. Among other provisions, Wicker’s legislation would renew support for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ocean data collection network used to predict hurricanes and would improve the flood insurance claims process for homeowners suffering a total loss of their homes after a hurricane.
“After withstanding the most active hurricane season on record, our nation needs continued advances in tracking, measuring, and reporting on the impact of severe weather and flooding,” Wicker said. “The Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act will build on our existing data collection efforts and help homeowners recover insurance funds when all that remains of their homes after a hurricane is a concrete slab. I hope the new efforts authorized by my proposal will make a marked difference for communities that are affected by storms.”
Attorney General Lynn Fitch dedicated the annual Christmas tree lighting to homicide victims across the state on Wednesday. However, she also took time prior to the lighting to talk about another group of victims that the state is seeing more and more of these days – human trafficking victims.
Upholstered furniture manufacturer Fusion Furniture, which is owned by Pontotoc-based Southern Motion, is expanding into New Albany to meet an increase in consumer demand. The project is a $2.062 million corporate investment and will create 125 jobs.
“The continued growth of Northeast Mississippi’s furniture manufacturing industry positions the region as a top location for furniture production, with thousands of Mississippians making quality furniture for industry leaders like Fusion Furniture,” Gov. Tate Reeves said. “I have no doubt these 125 new employees will take the same pride in producing the superior furniture for which Fusion is known so the company enjoys many more successful years in our great state.”
YP – MDOT awards contracts
— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) December 17, 2020
The Mississippi State Board of Education voted today to open public comment on the addition of the ACT WorkKeys assessment, in conjunction with a recognized career pathway or industry certification, to the accountability measure evaluating how schools and districts prepare students for college and the workforce.
ACT WorkKeys, a national assessment that measures foundational skills required for success in the workplace, will be included in the college and career readiness indicator in the state’s accountability system that assigns letter grades to schools and districts. Previously, student performance at the national benchmarks in math and reading or English on the ACT was the sole indicator of college and career readiness. The additional career preparation measure recognizes students who score at the Silver performance level on ACT WorkKeys and earn an industry certification in a technical field or complete a career pathway in high school.