YP – Conference weekend brings up division over Medicaid tech bills

With only a few days left in the 2021 Mississippi Legislative Session, the House and Senate still cannot seem to come to an agreement on the Medicaid Technical Amendments bills.

The sticking point seems to be on a prior proposal to remove the Division of Medicaid from the Governor’s office and place it under a seven-member commission. However, this language was never added to the Medicaid tech bill; instead it was proposed in a separate bill authored by Rep. Trey Lamar.

The Commission under HB 1013 would be made up of seven members: three appointed by the Governor and four by the Lt. Governor, while the Speaker of the House would have the ability to nominate two of the Lt. Governor’s appointees. Lamar said the move would provide more transparency to the billion-dollar industry.

Legislature returns today following conference weekend as session end nears

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YP – MS Legislative Black Caucus discuss their budget proposals for the year

The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus on Saturday said state coffers are full and called for the state to spend $436 million on healthcare, education and other proposals to help improve quality of life for the poor, elderly, youth and minorities to help move the state from the bottom of most socioeconomic lists.

“When you didn’t have, we understood,” Rep. Omeria Scott, D-Laurel, said at a press conference Saturday outlining the caucus’ request to state GOP budget leaders. “But we have been blessed. And we have, now … Now is the time to address these needs.”

“Any strategic plan that is going to address Mississippi’s needs should include and consider the plight of Black Mississippians as well as the white working poor,” Ford said.

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Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Tyree Irving said it was ridiculous.

“It makes us look like the laughingstock of the country, that is this the best that you can do Mississippi? And I know we can do better,” said Irving. “I would’ve expected it to go viral, quite frankly.”

Irving made this observation.

“We play ball on Sunday,” Irving explained. “We do a lot of stuff on Sundays. And, actually, some of these great Christians, I suspect, go and gamble on Sunday. And here is our democracy. We’re talking about simply trying to put some laws in place so America can continue to be that shiny city sitting on a hill.”