Governor Reeves opens COVID vaccines to all

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves took to social media on Monday to announce that the state’s supply of the COVID-19 vaccine will now be available for all Mississippians regardless of age.

“Starting tomorrow (Tuesday), ALL new appointments will be open to ALL Mississippians,” Reeves wrote.

YP – Mississippi gun show targeted with unprecedented fire department inspection fee for vendors

It is no secret that the City of Jackson under the Lumumba Administration is no fan of gun shows.  Last summer, city leaders looked for ways to ban the gatherings.  This past weekend, it would seem that there was intent by the city to impose a disincentive on the shows and their vendors by charging, for the first time ever, a “fire inspection fee” for each vendor booth at these events.

According to Jackson Jambalaya, the Jackson Fire Department surprised vendors at the gun show this weekend as it opened, telling vendors they had to pay a $50 “fire inspection fee” for each booth inside the facility on top of the $75 booth fee from the organizers.

The Fire Department’s message was delivered while being accompanied by the Jackson Police Department.

Reeves backs income tax elimination

YP – Senate revives Medicaid Tech language through resolution

On Monday, the Mississippi Senate convened two hours earlier than their usual 4:00pm start to the session. Almost immediately Senator Dean Kirby motioned to suspend the rules to bring up a new resolution offered by Senator Kevin Blackwell.

Blackwell, who is the Chairman of Medicaid, offered SCR 535 which would revive the original language in the Senate’s Medicaid Tech bill, SB 2799. The resolution would essentially remove any deadlines previously placed on the bill. If the resolution also passes in the House, SB 2799 will return and remain on the House motion to reconsider calendar.

The resolution passed in the Senate and was immediately transmitted to the House.

YP – MDE: All Statewide Assessments to be Administered this School Year

All required federal and statewide assessments will be administered to public-school students this school year, including the 3rd Grade Reading Assessment and high school assessments for Algebra I, English II, Biology and U.S. History.

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has provided districts with pandemic-related flexibilities to make it easier to administer the assessments and to schedule in-person testing for virtual learners.

Schools are expected to provide safe testing accommodations to full-time virtual learners who are able go to their school campus to test. Virtual learners are strongly urged to be tested, though schools cannot require students to show up for testing.

MSDH Daily COVID-19 Reporting

YP – Speaker Gunn named RLCC Energy Chair

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) in 2020 beat back more than a half-billion dollars in total Democratic state spending to defend all 59 Republican-led legislative chambers and flip 2 more. As it continues to build on a cycle that defied all expectations, the RSLC today announced the 2021 executive committee for its largest caucus and only national organization devoted to electing Republican state legislative leaders — the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC)…

…Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn was named the RLCC Energy Chair.

YP – If the Feds say hello to Daylight Saving year-round, so will we

Are you feeling sluggish from Sunday’s time change? Well, that could be a thing of the past in Mississippi if the Federal Government is to sign off on a year round Daylight Saving Time.

Authored by Rep. Tracey Arnold (R-3), HB 1062 would allow the state to observe Daylight Saving Time year-round if the federal law is amended. The legislation made it all the way through the House and Senate and is now waiting for the Governor to make it law, or not. Arnold said the bill came about after a “tidal wave” of his local constituents asking for it.

YP – Mississippi Delegation Urges IRS to Clear Tax Return Backlog

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., with U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., Trent Kelly, R-Miss., and Michael Guest, R-Miss., sent a letter Friday to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urging the agency to clear a large backlog of 2019 tax returns before the 2020 tax return deadline. The letter follows a surge in calls and correspondence with constituents in Mississippi who have had issues filing their 2020 taxes and receiving the refunds owed to them from 2019 and 2020.

“We recognize the IRS is taking on additional responsibilities during this time, including processing the latest round of Economic Impact Payments and other COVID-19 relief measures. However, taxpayers continue to face financial uncertainty from the pandemic, and this should not be compounded by the federal government’s inability to return money lawfully owed to them,” the Mississippi lawmakers wrote to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

YP – Hyde-Smith Named Top Republican on Agriculture Subcommittee

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry U.S. today named U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) as the lead Republican of its Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Local Food Systems, and Food Safety and Security.

“I look forward to serving as the Ranking Member of this subcommittee as the Senate Agriculture Committee addresses the policies needed to strengthen the agricultural sector and its importance to our economy,” Hyde-Smith said.

This subcommittee, which will be chaired by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), oversees matters involving livestock, poultry, and dairy production, local and regional food systems, as well as marketing, food safety, and security issues.

YP – Maine, Mississippi Delegations Lead Bipartisan Call for Robust Shipbuilding Budget, Larger Navy Fleet

Members of Maine’s and Mississippi’s congressional delegations today sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks urging them to provide unequivocal support to the long-standing and congressionally mandated requirement for a larger Navy fleet.  More ships—and a strong shipbuilding industrial base—are vital to the United States’ national security as well as the nation’s ability to conduct maritime security patrols, perform freedom of navigation missions, and protect U.S. interests around the globe.

 The letter was signed by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Angus King (I-ME), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Representatives Jared Golden (D-ME), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Trent Kelly (R-MS), and Steven Palazzo (R-MS).

MEMA issues weather warning for Wednesday

YP – Mississippi SOS takes legal action against companies in precious metals investment scheme

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, other state regulators, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently filed a joint civil enforcement action against Metals.com, Tower Equity, Chase Metals, Barrick Capital, and other associated parties. The defendants are accused of perpetrating a fraudulent precious metals investment scheme. The case is significant, as it allegedly involves 1,600 investors and more than $185 million in customer funds.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas entered an injunction and a restraining order freezing the assets of the defendants. It also appointed Kelly Crawford as Receiver. In this role, he will be responsible for marshaling assets of the defendants and act as a relief defendant for the benefit of defrauded clients.

WJTV – Mississippi legislators chop pecan bill from to-do list

Now, the last surviving pecan bill is dead.

House Bill 284 and Senate Bill 2072 started as proposals to increase penalties for stealing pecans. The House bill died Feb. 11.

The Senate bill became a shell of the original proposal. It was changed to simply create a study committee about pecan harvesting.