Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup.

YP – Initiative to expand Medicaid in Mississippi ends… for now.

The group “Healthcare for Mississippi” has suspended its campaign to expand Medicaid in the Magnolia State by way of a ballot initiative. This comes after the state Supreme Court ruled last week against the initiative process, overturning the medical marijuana amendment approved by voters in November 2020.

A statement from the group said, in part, that they are “reluctantly suspending” their campaign to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot in the wake of Friday’s decision, adding, “until there is once again a functional ballot measure process in Mississippi.”

Leaders of the effort said in the statement that they fully support the call for a special session to restore the “constitutional right of Mississippians to vote directly on issues of importance,” including Medicaid expansion, “and we will pursue every avenue possible to restore the rights of voters in this state.”

Governor Reeves urges President Biden to Stand with Israel

YP – Hyde-Smith Recommends Establishing CDC Office of Rural Health

Citing rural health disparities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today recommended establishing an Office of Rural Health within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to begin correcting those inequities.

Hyde-Smith questioned CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at an appropriations subcommittee hearing titled, “Review of the FY2022 Budget Blueprint for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

YP – Wicker, Hyde-Smith Oppose Biden Effort to Direct Tax Dollars to Abortion Providers

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today joined 32 colleagues in opposition to the Biden administration’s efforts to direct tax dollars to abortion providers.

The lawmakers signed a comprehensive public comment letter that urges Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to withdraw a Proposed Rule on the Title X family planning program.  If finalized, the Proposed Rule would direct tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to enrich Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.

“The Proposed Rule would allow Title X funds to support programs where abortion is a method of family planning, contrary to law, and, impose onerous and illegal mandates for Title X projects to counsel and refer for abortion.  As Members of Congress, we have a unique Constitutional interest and oversight role in ensuring regulations governing the Title X program comport with the law and Congressional intent,” the Senators wrote.

MSDH daily COVID-19 reporting

YP – Wicker, Hyde-Smith Mark Alcorn State’s 150th Anniversary

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., introduced a resolution to recognize Alcorn State University’s 150th anniversary. The resolution acknowledges the valuable education programs offered at Alcorn State and the University’s contributions to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and higher learning. It also commemorates the work of important faculty and alumni, including the university’s first president and former U.S. Senator, Hiram R. Revels.

“Alcorn’s history is a story that is linked to the history of our state and nation,” Wicker said. “Just as Alcorn’s first president, Hiram Revels, helped to carve a path for Alcorn graduates as the first Black U.S. Senator, I am confident that future Alcorn graduates will help to carve the path for this nation. I offer my compliments on 150 extraordinary years of higher education achievement and success.”

Watson, White to speak at MS Bar Convention

WLOX – State lawmakers talk issues and initiatives at Chamber breakfast

State lawmakers talk issues and initiatives at Chamber breakfast

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Post Legislative breakfast at the Golden Nugget in Biloxi. Four local state senators all think both matters need to be resolved.

“What is available is a legislative fix to that, and what that would require is a resolution from the House or the Senate. It’s going to take a two-thirds vote from both chambers, and once that happens, it has to be ratified by vote of the majority of the people of Mississippi, but the next statewide election isn’t until 2022,” said Sen. Jeremy England of Jackson County.

A majority of Mississippians voted for the availability of medical marijuana in November of 2020.

“I believe many of my constituents and those in South Mississippi want to see a program implemented, and the only way that program can be discussed through the legislative process is if the governor calls a special session,” said Sen. Scott Delano of Harrison County.

WLOX – State funding could help solve two mental health care problems in Harrison County

State funding could help solve two mental health care problems in Harrison County

Pine Belt Mental Health announced Wednesday they had been awarded a $1.2 million grant to create a diversion facility for mental health patients…

…“I think we got over a big hurdle,” said CEO of Memorial Hospital at Gulfport Kent Nicaud, regarding the news of the funding. “I worked over three years ago on a protocol process that we felt would be a good fit so we could fix some of this problem we are currently having with nowhere to put our mental health patients that needed our help.”

Everyone at the meeting agreed that pre-hearing placement is a persistent problem. A committee of Chancery Court judges and leaders from Memorial, Pine Belt and others will work to refine the concept of the diversion center, also serving as a point of entry for the county’s mental health patients and for pre-hearing placement.