YP – Governor Reeves to deliver State of State Address

On Tuesday, January 26th, Governor Tate Reeves will deliver his State of the State address. The Governor will address the challenges of the past year, and give a vision for the year ahead, a release from his office stated.

Due to the pandemic, the address will occur outdoors on the steps of the Capitol without an audience.

The address will be livestreamed through a feed provided by Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

YP – State Sen. Derrick Simmons to give Democratic Response to Governor’s 2021 State of the State Address

The Democratic Response, as is customary for the political party not holding the Governor’s office, will be given by state Senator Derrick Simmons.  Simmons represents Senate District 12 and has been the Senate Minority Leader since 2018.

According to his legislative bio, Senator Simmons is a trial lawyer and is affiliated with the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Mississippi Bar, Magnolia Bar, District of Columbia Bar and Greenville Rotary Club.  He is a Mason, life member of NAACP, and life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.  He also sits on the Mississippi Technology Alliance Liaison Committee.

YP – For now, SCOTUS takes no action on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban case

The U.S. Supreme Court did not add the Mississippi 15-week abortion case to its docket in today’s release of orders, a move conservatives in the state and onlookers across the nation were supporting as the action was viewed as a significant challenge to the longstanding Roe v Wade.

Pro-life supporters believe with the current make-up of the Supreme Court now is the time for such cases to be heard in hopes of rolling back the effects of Roe.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court in June 2020 to ask the Court to review Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which preserves the right to life after 15 weeks within the womb.

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YP – State Senator Moran Introduces Mobile Sports Betting Legislation

State Senator Philip Moran (R) announced today that he has introduced legislation to allow for online sports wagering in the state of Mississippi. SB 2732 would make it possible for Mississippians to securely place bets on their phone or computer with a percentage of operator profits flowing to the state.

“Every day millions of Americans in 15 states have access to state-of-the-art mobile sportsbooks, allowing them to place bets on their favorite teams and leagues at home while fostering much needed tax revenue. Unfortunately, Mississippi law does not authorize online sports betting, but this bill seeks to change that” said Senator Moran in a release. “Mississippi has been leaving money on the table by not authorizing online sports wagering, and it is time to modernize Mississippi’s gambling offerings and do what’s best for Mississippians.”

YP – Democrat Leahy to preside over Trump impeachment. Wicker says Chief Justice Roberts not presiding speaks volumes.

Democrat U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, the most senior member of the chamber, will preside over the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate instead of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts.

Reports have noted that Roberts has declined to participate.

There is an unsettled legal question as to whether a former President can be tried and impeached.  Impeachment trials of other officials after they left office have been conducted but an impeachment trial of a former President has never been attempted…

…“I think it speaks volumes that the Chief Justice declined to preside,” Senator Wicker said.

YP – Wicker, Hyde-Smith promote National School Choice Week

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today helped introduce a Senate resolution designating Jan. 24-30, 2021, as National School Choice Week.

The resolution marking the 11th annual National School Choice Week acknowledges the importance of school choice and the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on education.

“Education decisions should be in the hands of those who know best – parents and families,” Wicker said.  “I am glad to join Senator Tim Scott to show support for school choice and acknowledge the important work of educators, administrators, and parents in supporting quality education for all students, no matter where they live.”

YP – Congressman Guest Announces New Committee Assignment

Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) announced his selection to serve on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) for the 117th Congress.

“I believe the 116th Congress has prepared me for the opportunities the 117th Congress will bring. I plan to work with my colleagues to bring legislation to the floor that will benefit the people of our state and our nation, and my role on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will offer new and unique paths to serve the great people of Mississippi,” Congressman Guest said about his selection to the committee.

Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Sam Graves welcomed Congressman Guest’s selection to the committee.

YP – Bill of the Day: Owners of dogs who bite could face their own penalties

dog bite

In this Bill of the Day filed by Representative Bain, HB 80, says any person who intentionally or negligently allows their dog escape from their home or yard and bite another human could be subject to fines or jail time.

The fines could reach up to $5,000 with possibly three years in jail. Currently there is no charge that can be brought in the event a dog causes great bodily harm to an individual in a negligence case. This law is not aimed at the conviction of a dog owner in the event the dog was protecting its home or person from another humans attack.

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WLOX – Multiple bills filed in attempt to eliminate Mississippi’s grocery tax

Multiple bills filed in attempt to eliminate Mississippi’s grocery tax

Mississippi has the highest grocery tax in the country at 7 percent. Only 13 states have any level of a grocery tax.

“I don’t think that is fair,” said Della Mayers as she left the grocery store. “I think that they shouldn’t be taxing food because a lot of people really don’t have. And I’m one of them.”

Three bills in total have been filed in the 2021 legislative session in an attempt to change that. One House bill would phase out the grocery tax within seven years. But two Senate bills would immediately exempt groceries from that 7% sales tax.

“It disproportionately effects poor families in Mississippi,” explained Sen. Derrick Simmons who filed SB 2185. “By eliminating the grocery tax, at least we’d provide them some relief that they actually have shouldered the burden for so many years.”

WLOX – MGCCC signs agreement to offer classes at local correctional facilities

MGCCC signs agreement to offer classes at local correctional facilities

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College signed an agreement with the Mississippi Department of Corrections Monday to provide college courses to inmates at two local correctional facilities.

The agreement was signed with wardens from the Stone County Regional Correctional Facility in Wiggins and the George County Regional Correctional Facility in Lucedale.  Under the agreement, inmates may take classes beginning spring semester 2021.

DAILY LEADER – Area senator Jason Barrett says Legislative sessions are going well so far

Freshman senator Jason Barrett thinks Legislative sessions meeting amid the coronavirus pandemic have gone well so far.

Barrett, a Brookhaven defense attorney, was elected to serve as the District 39 Senator in November after former Sen. Sally Doty was chosen by Gov. Tate Reeves to serve in a different capacity.

Barrett started his term when the Senate reconvened this month and said he’s enjoyed it so far.

“The sessions have been great,” Barrett said. “As a freshman senator, it’s a lot of learning, but they’ve been very productive.”