YP – CORDER: Outdoor Trust Bill could go the way of referendum if Legislature doesn’t act

The Mississippi Legislature is tasked with handling the business of the people, tackling issues of importance that will both improve the State and the lives of Mississippians. When they cannot come together, what’s left is the referendum process whereby the people move an issue forward the politicians refuse to embrace.

That is what occurred with medical marijuana. The Legislature knew full well the will of the people was there to enact a controlled medical marijuana program. It had been discussed for years but was killed repeatedly. What resulted was a referendum that most legislators did not prefer as it did not address taxation, zoning and other public concerns in a conventional manner. Yet, the Legislature’s failure to address the issue resulted in a ballot initiative that cut them out of the process.

That very well may be what occurs with the Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund idea if lawmakers cannot come together.  As of this printing, conferees have not been appointed by the state Senate.

Gov. Reeves signs occupational license recognition bill

YP – Pascagoula-Gautier Schools Superintendent talks computer science, state testing with Y’all Politics

Pascagoula-Gautier Schools Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich joined Y’all Politics on Thursday to discuss the computer science law signed by Governor Tate Reeves this week and the impact it could have on students, teachers, and the state’s workforce.

Rodolfich also talked about the possibility of moving away from state subject area testing for graduation and relying on the ACT as that benchmark.  He has long been an advocate of using the ACT as it translates well into gauging both college and career readiness of students.

YP – U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services: Mississippi Health Centers to Receive $77,462,250

Twenty (20) community health centers in Mississippi will receive $77,462,250 in American Rescue Plan funding to support COVID-19 vaccination and services for vulnerable populations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today. The funding will be awarded beginning in April by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Health centers will be able to use the funds to support and expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver needed preventive and primary health care services to those at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units. This investment will help increase access to vaccinations among hard-hit populations, as well as confidence in the vaccine by empowering local, trusted health professionals in their efforts to expand vaccinations.

MSDH daily COVID-19 reporting

YP – Auditor White: Former Oktibbeha County Road Department Employee Arrested for Embezzlement

State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested Thomas Smith, a former Oktibbeha County Road Department employee. Smith was arrested after he was indicted for embezzlement. A $657.20 demand letter was presented to Smith when he was arrested. The demand amount includes interest and investigative expenses.

Smith is accused of embezzling fuel by siphoning it out of a county-owned truck. Smith purportedly hid fuel containers on the side of the road so he could stop and siphon fuel from the truck into the containers. Smith would allegedly return to the location in a personal vehicle to retrieve the fuel he had siphoned. Investigators determined this scheme lasted from June 2019 to August 2019.

PPP loans get extension

YP – Wicker Calls Out Coverage of Democrats’ Plan to Take Over Elections

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., spoke at a press conference highlighting the problems with Senate Democrats’ S.1, “The For the People Act.”

In his remarks, Wicker cited the strong opposition many Americans have against provisions of the legislation.

“The mainstream media’s coverage of S. 1 has been so frustrating,” Wicker said. “I turn on the TV and they say, ‘Today the Senate will have a hearing on legislation, S.1, to make it easier for Americans to vote’…. But when we get into the details of this legislation, S. 1., and you go one by one and ask the American people do they agree or do they disagree, then they begin to understand what’s wrong with this bill.”

YP – Hyde-Smith headed to Southern border to evaluate growing crisis

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is part of a Senate delegation headed to the southern border today to evaluate the surging crisis arising from the Biden administration policy changes to immigration and border security.

Hyde-Smith is among 19 Republicans, led by Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, who will travel to the McAllen, Texas, region for briefings and tours Thursday and Friday.

“We’re headed to the border to better understand the scope of the problems facing federal agents and communities dealing with what is clearly a crisis on the border,” Hyde-Smith said.

Sen. Wicker speaks out on Russian opposition leader