YP – Governor Reeves: I support tax cuts, not tax swaps

The phase out of the state income tax was one of the Executive Budget Recommendations from Governor Tate Reeves leading up to this legislative session.  As has been noted, the elimination of the income tax has long been supported by Speaker Gunn and many Republican lawmakers who, along with Reeves when he was Lt. Governor, worked to phase out the lower percentages of the income tax.

In his press conference on Tuesday, Governor Reeves said he was glad to see the discussion at the Capitol, noting that the House proposal had many good provisions in the bill, but he was quick to point out that not all of the plan was what he would prefer.

“I think the pieces of that particular [House] plan that raise taxes on individuals are problematic,” the Governor said. “We showed five years ago how you can eliminate the income tax without increasing taxes on somebody else.”

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YP – State Sen. Chris McDaniel says House income tax bill simply redistributes the burden

In a discussion with Y’all Politics on Wednesday, State Senator Chris McDaniel said the income tax phase out plan passed by the Mississippi House should concern Republicans as it is not a tax decrease, but rather a tax swap.  McDaniel says the bill reallocates the taxing authority and redistributes the tax burden among Mississippians.

However, McDaniel said at least the House tried something as the Senate did not do anything regarding eliminating the income tax this session.  He says it is unlikely the bill gets very far in the Senate, but if changes were made to improve the bill, such as eliminating the increases, it could gain some traction among Senators.

YP – Bill of the Day: Back to Business loan expenses to be deducted from income tax

This bill of the day could give businesses a much needed break, after 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

House Bill 1446 would allow for grant funds that came from the Back to Business loans be deducted from income taxes. The bill was authored by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.

Chairman Trey Lamar presented the bill on the floor on deadline day, explaining to members that this change is in step with federal law, Mississippi law just did not allow for those deductions to be made.

YP – Mississippi Governor Reeves joins 16 other Governors to oppose Biden’s oil, gas lease ban

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has signed on to a letter to President Joe Biden opposing his oil and gas lease ban.

Reeves joined Governors Spencer Cox, Utah; Mark Gordon, Wyoming; Kay Ivey, Alabama; Mike Dunleavy, Alaska; Doug Ducey, Arizona; Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas; Brad Little, Idaho; Eric Holcomb, Indiana; Mike Parson, Missouri; Greg Gianforte, Montana; Pete Ricketts, Nebraska, Doug Burgum, North Dakota; Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma; Kristi Noem, South Dakota; Bill Lee, Tennessee; and Greg Abbot, Texas in signing the letter.

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YP – Hyde-Smith Renews Effort to Protect Pro-Life Healthcare Workers from Discrimination

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today renewed her support for legislation to protect all healthcare providers from government discrimination if they decline to participate in abortions.

Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of the Conscience Protection Act of 2021, which provides a private right of action for pro-life victims of discrimination.  She cosponsored the same measure introduced previously by U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.).

“Religious liberty cannot be suspended if one’s workplace has misguided policies regarding abortion,” Hyde-Smith said.

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YP – House Passes Rep. Trent Kelly’s Bill to Name Tupelo Post Office for Colonel Carlyle “Smitty” Harris

U.S. Representative Trent Kelly (R-Miss.) is pleased to announce the passage of H.R. 208, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 500 West Main Street, Suite 102, in Tupelo, Mississippi, as the “Colonel Carlyle ‘Smitty’ Harris Post Office.” Last night, the bill passed by a two-thirds majority recorded vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Colonel Harris is a true war hero,” Rep. Kelly said. “During the Vietnam War, he was held captive at the famous Hanoi Hilton for eight years, where he employed the tap code to communicate with his fellow prisoners. Despite the constant threat of torture, Col. Harris taught other prisoners how to use the secret code. After a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Air Force, Col. Harris completed law school and joined the Mississippi Bar in 1981. Col. Harris is a role model for our entire community – a gentleman of all gentlemen. I am proud to call him a friend.”

YP – Palazzo Reflects on 30th Anniversary of Persian Gulf War Ground Offensive

Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4), a United States Marine Corps veteran, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the United States’ ground offensive during the Persian Gulf War, reflected on his time spent overseas in the war with the 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, Mobile, AL. It was on this day in 1991, that the US began the 100-hour ground campaign.

Palazzo released the following statement in commemoration of this anniversary:

“In many ways, it is hard to believe that it has been over 30 years since I deployed with my fellow Marines from 3rd Force Recon Company. As a Lance Corporal at 20-years-old, I left the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina on Christmas Eve in 1990 and landed in Saudi Arabia on Christmas day. It was just days before the beginning of the ground offensive that I turned 21 years old in the desert with my fellow Marines.

YP – PSC to Review State’s Public Utility Infrastructure in Light of Recent Winter Storms

The three Mississippi Public Service Commissioners unanimously announced today the launching of a comprehensive review of the Magnolia State’s public utility infrastructure in light of horrifying events in other areas of the nation and the lingering after-effects of the recent winter storm.

The Commission’s review will begin immediately. The Commissioners stated that their goal was to ensure that all reasonable steps be taken to protect the reliability of electric, gas, water and sewer service at all times. While Mississippi utilities are accustomed to extreme weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes, winter storms are much rarer. The latest winter storm presented new challenges to Mississippi utilities that the Commission feels must be addressed immediately and forthrightly.

The Commissioners stressed the fact that our State’s electric utilities performed incredibly well during recent, unprecedented weather, even producing more electricity than needed on the coldest day of the year.

WLOX – Amtrak: Passenger trains to return to Gulf Coast in 2022

Amtrak: Passenger trains to return to Gulf Coast in 2022

A company official says Amtrak passenger service along the Gulf Coast is on track to return in 2022 — and could come in the early part of next year.

Al.com reports that Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari confirmed that timeline on Tuesday. He says that Amtrak contacted railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern in January to inform them “that we intend to begin service in 2022.”

The route will connect Mobile, Alabama to New Orleans, with four stops in Mississippi: Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula.

The news site reports that it will mark the first time that passenger trains have rolled along the Gulf Coast in more than 16 years.