YP – Medical marijuana bill resurrected in early morning hours of Friday

After several recesses on deadline day to rally votes for the bill, SB 2765, the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, failed in the Senate by a vote of 30 to 21 but was held on a motion to reconsider.

The bill was authored by Senator Kevin Blackwell who said the intent of the bill was not to replace or overshadow Initiative 65, but to offer an alternative program for the state in the event the Supreme Court invalidates Initiative 65 in upcoming suits that have been filed…

…The Senate adjourned officially on Thursday at 11:45 only to return at 12:01 on Friday morning, a procedural move that allowed them to take up items on the Motion to Reconsider calendar.

Making their way through the list they came to SB 2765 shortly after 12:30 a.m. The bill was debated for roughly an hour with several members including Senator McDaniel, Sen. Blackmon and Sen. Harkins speaking for and against the bill.

Due to the quorum present on what was a new day of work, the bill passed by a vote of 30 to 19. It will now move to he House. The Senate then adjourned until 4:00 p.m. on Monday.

YP – House passes bill to pay college athletes, with stipulations

Late in the afternoon of deadline day, the Mississippi House of Representatives passed HB 1030, the “Mississippi Intercollegiate Athletics Compensation Rights Act.” The intent of the bill is to allow compensation for college student athletes in the event their name, image or likeness are used for advertising.

The bill was fairly straightforward, until an amendment was added by Representative Becky Currie (R-92). Her amendment states that female athletes could receive this compensation and participate on these sport teams as long as they are deemed biologically female, with the corresponding reproductive parts.

MSDH daily COVID-19 reporting

YP – Mason-Dixon poll puts Reeves approval at 56% overall and 71% among Republicans

Virtually mirroring the results released last week by the Y’all Politics/IMG poll, Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida, released a poll today that shows Governor Tate Reeves has increased his favorability among Mississippi voters in the last year in spite of the COVID pandemic.

Overall, his approval rate stands at 56%.  Among Republicans, that number jumps to 71%, which is the identical polling to the YP/IMG results.

YP – Fitch joins 13 other Attorneys General in challenging Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has joined 13 other AGs in challenging President Joe Biden’s unilateral cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline.  In a letter to Biden, the group urges the President to reconsider his actions and warns of pending litigation over the matter.

“Please be aware that the states are reviewing available legal options to protect our residents and sovereign interests. In the meantime, we urge you to reconsider your decision to impose crippling economic injuries on states, communities, families, and workers across the country,” the letter states.

YP – Bill of the Day: Disclosing gubernatorial inauguration funding, would retroactively impact Governor Reeves

The Mississippi House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require governors to disclose who and how much is spent on inaugurations. This would also work retroactively for current Governor Tate Reeves.

HB 1019, authored by House Chairman of Ways and Means Rep. Trey Lamar (R), would require that shortly after election the Governor-elect shall form an inaugural committee and a separate inaugural fund. A treasurer is then to be appointed to oversee any contributions or expenditures in preparation for the gubernatorial inauguration.

The rules would be similar to those of campaign funds as it pertains to the reporting required for who contributes and how much it donated. Currently, there is no requirement to disclose this information to the public.

State Auditor returns over $60k to Taxpayers in January

WLOX / WLBT – Sen. Hyde-Smith doesn’t believe evidence presented links Trump to Capitol insurrection

Sen. Hyde-Smith doesn’t believe evidence presented links Trump to Capitol insurrection

Hyde-Smith says the House managers did a good job presenting their case. But she still does not believe this process should be taking place, and she says the evidence they are presenting does not directly link Trump to the insurrection.

“If they came out with emails of the instructions that were explicit for them to do that, of course. But they don’t have that. He’s already been removed and we do not need to let this become a political weapon,” said Hyde-Smith.

The Trump legal team will present their arguments beginning Friday. Then senators have a chance to ask questions.

WDAM – Miss. secretary of state encourages participation in municipal elections

Miss. secretary of state encourages participation in municipal elections

By now, you may have voter fatigue. But Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson says these elections deserve your attention and your involvement.

He says they have the most immediate impact on your everyday life on the local level, and you should make sure you’re engaged, know who’s running and do your homework.

Applications for absentee ballots are available now at your city clerk’s office. You can vote absentee at the clerk’s office beginning Feb. 22. If you’re not registered to vote, you have until March 8 to do that, if you want to cast a ballot in the primary elections.