YP – Speaker Gunn files legislation to eliminate income tax over 10 years

The Mississippi House of Representatives has dropped a major tax exemption bill. Authored by Speaker Philip Gunn and co-authored by Representatives Jason White and Trey Lamar, the bill would create the Mississippi Tax Freedom Act of 2021, HB 1439.

The legislation’s intent is to increase the amount of personal exemptions under state income tax, in other words, phase out the state income tax over a 10 year period. This will apply for single individuals, married couples and heads of household.

Individuals making under $50,000 a year and married couples making less than $100,000 a year will be exempt immediately from income taxes on those monies if this bill passes. This would apply for filings in 2022.

YP – A new effort to create a Conservation Trust in Mississippi could become reality

A group of Mississippi and national conservation groups including Wildlife Mississippi, Ducks Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy, Delta Council / Delta Wildlife, Coastal Conservation Association and the Foundation for MDWFP are banding together to promote a program to create a conservation trust using a sales tax diversion from the existing sales of sporting goods.

The bill was introduced by Representative Scott Bounds and co-authored by Representatives Lamar and Miles who helped shepherd HB 1231 through the House of Representatives.

The bill will establish the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund and redirect up to $15 million of existing sales taxes on outdoor sporting goods to be dedicated to conservation efforts.

YP – Risk of COVID-19 appears to be declining in Mississippi, nationally

Whether you attribute it to the weather, the vaccine, or just the virus running its natural course in ways that scientists and policy makers may not completely understand, the rate of COVID-19 infection in Mississippi has declined precipitously recently, as has the stress the virus has put on the state’s hospital systems.

According to the latest data released by the Mississippi Department of Health, 290,874 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Mississippi since the pandemic began.  Of that number, 180,994 cases, or 62%, have been confirmed while 109,880, or 38%, are listed as probable.

Of those cases as of February 15, 2021, 264,456, or 91%, are presumed to have recovered from COVID-19 so far. That number will increase when the latest estimates are released this week.

To date, 6,553 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in Mississippi, with 4,610, or 70%, being confirmed and 1,943, or 30%, are listed as probable.

MSDH daily COVID-19 reporting

YP – Attorney General Fitch talks Big Tech Censorship, Biden Overreach with Y’all Politics

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch joined Y’all Politics on Monday to discuss her office’s ongoing fight against Big Tech Censorship, challenging the social media giants to not restrict free speech in its digital public square.

Fitch also talked about the adverse impact the overreaching orders being handed down by the Biden Administration are having not only on Mississippians, but all Americans.  She along with other state AGs have put the White House on notice that pending legal action could be filed to challenge their actions.

YP – Mississippi VA: Republic of Korea Donates Masks to Korean War Veterans

Mississippi Veterans Affairs (MSVA) has received a donation of 5,000 protective masks from the Republic of Korea. The masks will be distributed to the four State Veterans Homes in Collins, Jackson, Kosciusko and Oxford, with the first sets given to Veterans of the Korean War.

“We are so appreciative of the Republic of Korea Prime Minister Sye-kyun and his commitment to honoring America’s heroes that fought in the Korean War,” said Mississippi VA Executive Director Stacey Pickering. “And we thank Consul-General Myung-Soo of the Korean Consulate in Houston for coordinating the delivery of these masks to our heroes, who no doubt deserve to be honored for their sacrifice towards freedom and safety in our world.”

YP – Bill of the Day: Tearing down of “slum” buildings in Jackson Capitol Complex

Representative Ronnie Crudup (D-71), has authored a bill that would authorize the demolition of “slum and blighted properties” that are located within the Capitol Complex Improvement District (CCID).

HB 1246 would allow these demolitions in order to ensure the public health, safety and welfare of the area. The bill sites that these dilapidated areas can often become a nuisance to those who live and work in the area…

…The CCID was originally outlined in HB 1226, from 2017. It includes areas spanning across downtown Jackson, JSU, UMMC, Jackson Medical Mall, LeFleurs Bluff, Smith Park, Belhaven University, Millsaps college and more.

YP – Hyde-Smith announces $86.1 million defense logistics contract to Mississippi company

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today announced a maximum $86.1 million Defense Logistics Agency contract to Merchants Foodservice in Jackson to provide food to military installations in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Merchants Foodservice will provide full-line food distribution to Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard facilities in the two states.

“I’m pleased to see a Mississippi firm awarded this competitive contract.  Merchants Foodservice will build on its extensive distribution expertise to deliver foods to military facilities in Mississippi and Louisiana over the next four years,” said Hyde-Smith, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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DAILY JOURNAL – State, Dept. of Justice attorneys close to reaching deal on mental health improvements

courthouse

Attorneys representing the U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Mississippi on Monday afternoon announced they are close to agreeing on a solution to improve the services of Mississippi’s beleaguered mental health system.

In a status conference before U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, attorneys with the Department of Justice and state said they have concurred on most of the substantive issues.

A major sticking point, however, is who should monitor the state’s progress in ensuring that it complies with whatever plan is hammered out by the attorneys.

“We have all but dotted our i’s and crossed our t’s on the substantive components of the court’s remedial order,” said Deena Fox, the lead attorney from the Department of Justice.