YP – Auditor Releases Study of State Retirement System

The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) operates well in some areas when compared to pensions in other states but could be improved in other areas according to a report released today by State Auditor Shad White.

The study was conducted for the Office of the State Auditor for no charge by the Pew Charitable Trusts, an internationally-respected non-partisan public policy research organization…

…“In late 2018, I requested this study to determine how Mississippi’s pension plan is doing compared to other states,” said Auditor White. “My hope is that this overview will provide policymakers and PERS leadership with information that can help them make decisions in the future. I also hope that it provides state employees, pensioners, and taxpayers with transparency into how PERS is performing.”

YP – CORDER: Can legislators reconcile gas tax referendum while opposing municipal option?

bill in the Mississippi House of Representatives would provide for a statewide referendum to determine whether voters favor a temporary gas tax increase to fund specific road and bridge projects across the state.  The author of the bill, House Ways and Means Chairman Trey Lamar (R), says once the specific projects are paid for, the new gas tax would roll off the books.

Though raising taxes or even creating a vehicle for voters to raise taxes is anathema to Republicans generally, rumors are circling around the Capitol that this effort may be connected as a revenue offset to a long rumored state income tax elimination program.  More info is expected on that effort from Speaker Philip Gunn and the House next week.

The structure of this referendum bill is akin to what Mississippi cities and towns have been asking for authority from the Legislature to do for decades through a municipal or local option sales tax but has thus far been squashed year after year, leaving local communities continuing to struggle.  The majority of the revenue for cities and towns come from two sources – property and sales taxes.

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YP – Bill of the Day: mFlex tax incentive for businesses and industries

On Thursday, the Mississippi Senate passed a bill to create the “Mississippi Flexible Tax Incentive Act,” or mFlex. This act would allow for businesses and industries to apply for tax incentives for qualified economic development projects through the Mississippi Development Authority in an easier, more coordinated manner.

SB 2822, authored by Sen. Parker (R), outlines the application process and requirements it takes for a business or industry to qualify. The amount of the mFlex incentive is calculated through several ways.

YP – Hyde-Smith Joins Effort to Protect Women’s & Girls Sports

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) recently joined U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and others in introducing legislation to protect athletic opportunities for female athletes.

Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor to the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act (S.251).  The bill addresses compliance with Title IX provisions dealing with athletics to ensure gender is “recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

“Female athletes of all ages should be allowed fair and equal competition, which means competing against other women.  It is categorically unfair for females to be forced to compete against biological males,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Allowing boys to compete in girls athletic competitions is already leading to warped results and an unfair playing field for young women.”

YP – Thompson makes the media rounds after filing lawsuit against Trump. Hear what he’s saying.

Since filing a federal lawsuit earlier this week against former President Donald Trump, Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson has made the mainstream media rounds to outline his case of how he believes Trump incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

YP – Moss Point Mayor, wife to plead guilty to federal charge

WLOX News is reporting this morning that Moss Point Mayor Mario King and his wife will each plead guilty to a federal charge stemming from a 14-count indictment that was filed in April 2020 that alleged that the Kings solicited funds from a benefit gala but did not use that money for its intended purpose, which was to support a mental health program for Moss Point School District.

“On Tuesday, a notice was filed in the U.S. Southern District Court for Mississippi announcing Mario King’s intent to plead guilty to a federal charge. A similar document for Natasha King was filed the next day on Wednesday,” WLOX reports. “The notices filed this week do not indicate which charge Mario and Natasha King will plead guilty to, only indicating that each intend to plead to a single federal charge.”

The Kings are set to appear back in court on Wednesday.

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