Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup.
YP – Miss. State Board of Education pushes for no bid contracts, approval for emergency procurements
The Board is considering whether that it is in the best interest of the state to execute emergency contracts, essentially no bid contracts that circumvent the normal procurement processes, using ESSER II, ARP, and state funds ($7.6 million for MSIS 2.0) to provide the prompt delivery of crucial services to school districts in need.
The MDE Board is being asked to allow these contracts for the next three years. That awarded amount should not exceed $231 million over that time period.
Y’all Politics has learned that MDE has known how much ESSER II and ARP funds they would be receiving since January 2021 and March 2021, respectively. Those are the dates MDE could have begun the normal procurement processes. Additionally, MDE has already submitted a plan to spend the ARP funds to the U.S. Department of Education.
PSC Commissioner Maxwell facts checks national news on Ida reports
⚠️Please be aware of a few national news articles circulating social media reporting false numbers of water outages in Mississippi following Hurricane Ida. The PSC, along with MSDH, the MS Public Water Supply & Rural Water Association, the number being reported is inaccurate 1/2 pic.twitter.com/12jSfkjoST
— Dane Maxwell (@DaneMaxwellMS) September 2, 2021
Governor Tate Reeves announced that he has selected Parker Briden as his next Chief of Staff. Briden served as a senior advisor to Governor Reeves throughout 2020 and his 2019 campaign.
“Parker has been a trusted partner throughout my time as Governor. He will be a highly-effective leader and advisor as we work to serve the people of Mississippi,” said Governor Tate Reeves.
“I am honored and excited to work for the people of Mississippi and Governor Tate Reeves again. My aspiration is to bring a fraction of the ability and integrity of my predecessors and colleagues to the job. The top responsibility is to be an honest broker for the Governor and every partner throughout state government, the legislature, and private enterprise as we work together to serve this great state,” said Parker Briden.
MSDH COVID-19 Reporting
Today MSDH is reporting 3,850 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 17 deaths, and 157 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. State #covid19 totals: 443,511 cases, 8,507 deaths, and 1,170,701 persons fully vaccinated. Full information: https://t.co/YCv9xPQkuS pic.twitter.com/QirxmoEQap
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) September 2, 2021
Secretary of State Michael Watson is joining members of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in observing September as National Voter Registration Month. In August, Watson was named to NASS’s Executive Board as the Southern Region Vice President.
“September is national voter registration month and I’m teaming up with other Secretaries of State from around the country to encourage voter participation and increase awareness of state requirements and deadlines for voting,” said Secretary Watson.
Hunger Action Month declared
I’m proud to declare September as Hunger Action Month. Special thank you to our valued partner @MSFoodNet who distributed 42.6 million pounds of food last year! Dedicated and caring Mississippians working to care for their neighbors—please join us in honoring them! pic.twitter.com/57rTcRzxwC
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) September 2, 2021
Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District race will be the most hotly contested in the state during the 2022 mid-terms. Incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo (R) has already drawn three opponents in a Republican Primary, along with an Independent and a Libertarian.
That Libertarian candidate is Alden Johnson.
In July, Y’all Politics reported that Johnson has raised $10 and showed $102 cash of hand in his first Federal Election Commission campaign finance filing for June 2021. However, little was known about Johnson at the time.
Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R) and Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D) have introduced the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act of 2021 which is bipartisan legislation that will increase access to critical physical therapy services by bringing more health care professionals to rural areas.
“Physical therapists bring tremendous value to their communities and are an essential part of helping patients heal after illness or injury,” Senator Wicker said. “This legislation would add physical therapists to The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, encouraging students to stay and continue practicing in rural and underserved areas after completing their education. I am glad to join my colleague Senator Tester in this effort.”
YP – Sen. Hyde-Smith announces $32.2 million award to Miss. State for clean energy research and development
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) serves as a member of both the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Today, she announced the award of a $32.2 million contract to Mississippi State University to advance clean energy research and development.
The MSU Institute of Clean Energy Technology (ICET) provides the infrastructure and testing capabilities to help clean energy technology developers and government agencies find promising solutions to high-level environmental and public health problems.
YP – Senators Wicker and Hyde-Smith join colleagues demanding answers from Biden on Afghanistan withdrawal
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith joined their colleagues in a demand for answers from the President regarding how the United State’s left Afghanistan.
The letter was sent to President Biden and requests specific information on Americans and allies that were left behind. They also ask for information regarding the vetting process for evacuees who are being brought to the U.S.
“The signatories of this letter may have differing opinions about whether the United States should have maintained a military presence in Afghanistan, but we all agree that the arbitrary and poorly-planned method by which you withdrew from Afghanistan caused this crisis,” the Senators wrote.
YP – Wicker praises $280 million in tax credits awarded for Mississippi economic growth, community development
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R) praised the award of $280 million in tax credit allocations to five Mississippi-based community development entities (CDEs): Bancorp South, Trustmark Bank, Peoples Bank, Hope Enterprise Corporation, and MuniStrategies, LLC. The tax credits will be distributed through the U.S. Treasury Department’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program.
The New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC) has supported a wide range of businesses including manufacturing, food, retail, housing, health, technology, energy, education, and childcare. The Program aims to break the cycle of disinvestment in low-income communities by attracting the private investment that is needed in order to revitalize struggling local economies.
A man who made national news after confronting an MSNBC reporter in Mississippi earlier this week has been arrested by U.S. Marshals.
WLBT reported Benjamin Dagley was a wanted fugitive after the incident and was charged with two counts of simple assault by the Gulfport Police Department.
He is also currently on probation for a previous charge in Ohio.
According to U.S. Marshals, Dagley was arrested Thursday by the violent fugitive task force at a shopping plaza in Dayton, Ohio.
On Thursday, Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph issued an emergency order, which extends the time for COVID-19 safeguards in all courts.
Emergency Administrative Order 22 gives individual judges discretion to postpone jury trials scheduled through October 8, 2021. In a previous order entered on August 5, Randolph gave trial judges discretion to postpone jury trials scheduled through September 10.