YP – Mississippi Legislature now operating under new COVID-19 protocols, considering delay to session

The Mississippi Senate announced today that they would be allowing a change in attendance of committee meetings starting on Monday.

Just after convening at 10:00AM on Thursday, the Senate Rules Committee met and discussed a new set of protocols for members attending committee meetings until the next bill deadline. Members will still be required to check-in during roll call each morning, but they then will be free to retire to a different location and participate in committee meetings through a Zoom call.

Senator Walter Michel (R) explained the new rules to members, saying that some rooms like 216 allow for social distancing but rooms such as 409 are much smaller and might constitute some individuals participating via Zoom.

MSDH daily COVID-19 reporting

YP – Teacher pay raise bill moves forward in Mississippi Senate

The Mississippi Senate has unanimously passed the teacher pay raise bill. SB 2001 was the first action brought up on the floor today. It was introduced and explained by Senator DeBar who chairs the Education Committee. All other education bills maintained their place on the calendar.

“As you saw today it passed unanimously with little debate which shows that the Senate has it as a top legislative priority to take care of our teachers and increase their pay,” said DeBar. “We are hopeful that throughout this process we will do that and get it to the Governor to be signed.”

YP – Mississippi received over a billion dollars in CARES Act funds. How was it spent?

Over a billion dollars was appropriated to Mississippi from the CARES Act passed by Congress in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. State Auditor Shad White’s office is tasked with monitoring that spending…

…As of January 14, 2021, the Auditor’s office reports that not all of these funds have been expended.  For example, the Department of Education has spent 94% of their CRF allocation, while DFA has only spent 73%.  MEMA sits at 99% compared to MDA at 66%.  The Department of Employment Security has spent the most in actual dollars, over $216.6 million, or 92% of its allocation.

Reeves, Palazzo comment on Biden’s COVID-19 plan

YP – MDE Suspends Policies on A-F Grading, 3rd Grade Reading, and High School Assessments for 2020-21 School Year

The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) voted today to suspend three statewide policies regarding assessment and accountability to manage the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the 2020-21 school year.

All required state and federal assessments will be administered this school year as usual. However, the policy suspensions mean schools and districts will not be assigned A-F letter grades for their performance during the 2020-21 school year, 3rd graders do not have to pass a reading test to qualify for promotion, and high school students do not have to pass end-of-course assessments to meet graduation requirements.

YP – CORDER: Media-hyped warnings of pro-Trump, right-wing Capitol protests turn out to be a nothingburger

Last week, the FBI warned of possible armed protests in the days leading up to and on Inauguration Day at all 50 state capitals.  What resulted was the mainstream media’s typical sycophantic pandering that toted the water of the left.

Even here in Mississippi, the House and Senate Democrat leaders made headlines when they joined together appealing to Governor Tate Reeves to send National Guard troops to D.C. in support of protecting the U.S. Capitol.  They used their letter to the Governor to knock him for sending National Guard troops to D.C. at the federal government’s request in June 2020 as the nation’s capital was rocked by violence amidst Black Lives Matter protests and riots…

…What resulted of all of this media-driven hype, apart from a few banner wavers and some picketers over the last few days, was a giant nothingburger in all 50 states.  In fact, there was more left-wing rioters still at work in various cities than what were right-wing demonstrators.

These non-events allowed the media and Democrats to ramp up the narrative against Republicans as unhinged extremists.

WJTV – Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs qualifies for re-election

YP – Dixie National Rodeo starts in Mississippi

YP – Bill of the Day: A total ban on abortion

It is not uncommon for the Mississippi Legislature to attempt a restriction on abortions each year. In 2018 HB 1510 was passed to ban abortions after 15 weeks, in 2019 SB 2116, a 6-week abortion ban or the “Heartbeat Bill” was passed. Just last year HB 1295 was passed which would limit abortions based on certain circumstances like race or gender.

HB 1510 and SB 2116 have both been held up in court since being signed by the Governor.

This year, Representative Eubanks is making an attempt to completely ban abortions in the state with HB 338. 

YP – Wicker urges Defense Secretary nominee to meet shipbuilding goals

WJTV – Mississippi flags at National Mall given to state leaders