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

YP – Speaker Gunn: University employees, students should not be mandated to get COVID-19 vaccine

Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Philip Gunn wrote a letter to Dr. Alfred Rankins, the Commissioner of Higher Education, asking him to halt enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandates it implemented in late October in response to President Joe Biden’s federal actions.

Gunn also reminded Rankins of a previous request he made prior to the decision by the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) Board to comply with the federal mandates, saying despite the two’s phone call three weeks ago, the IHL Board proceeded with the mandates anyway.

“Our dedicated university employees should not be forced to choose between their jobs and their right to control their health care decisions as they pertain to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Speaker Gunn wrote. “I have advocated and still advocate for Mississippians to take their COVID-19 vaccine if they believe that is right for the after consultation with their medical provider, but I strongly object to coerced COVID-19 vaccinations.”

YP – What to know ahead of the first meeting of the MS Senate Subcommittee tasked with recommending how to spend $1.8 billion in ARP funds

On Monday, a Mississippi Senate Subcommittee will meet to review and make recommendations regarding the use of $1.8 billion in American Rescue Plan funds sent to the state from the federal government.

State Senator John Polk was named chairman of the subcommittee, and Senators Dennis DeBar, Walter Michel, Rita Potts Parks, Bart Williams, Albert Butler, and Hillman Frazier were named as members.

Senator Polk told Y’all Politics on Friday that Monday’s meeting is a essentially an organizational meeting. The first thing he has tried to do is get everything organized and everyone to understand where they are heading, which is to figure out for Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and Senate Appropriations Chairman Briggs Hopson just how to spend the $1.8 billion. 

State Auditor White talks accountability in workforce development spending

YP – Central PSC Commissioner Bailey talks energy investments, costs with Y’all Politics

Central District Public Service Commissioner Brent Bailey joined Y’all Politics on Friday to discuss a variety of topics, including net metering, recent renewable energy investments in Mississippi, and the cost impact consumers are seeing today.

There has been calls for more of a consumer voice to balance corporate interests when the PSC considers rate cases and future energy investments in the state. Commissioner Bailey says he is not opposed to having a dedicated consumer advocate in some form, but the question will be where that role is housed and how it would be funded.

YP – Fall 2021 Kindergarten Readiness results released

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has released the fall 2021 assessment for kindergarten readiness.

Among the 33,265 kindergarteners tested, 31.8% scored kindergarten-ready with a score of 530 or higher on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. Statewide, the average score was 487.

Results of students scoring kindergarten-ready in previous years were 36.6% in fall 2019 and 36.1% in fall 2018.

Senator Rick Scott speaks at MSGOP Victory Reception

YP – U.S. Court of Appeals temporarily blocks Jan. 6 committee from obtaining Trump White House records

On Thursday, a federal appeals court granted former President Donald Trump’s request to temporarily block the National Archives from giving his White House records to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House January 6th Committee.

The decision was made in order to give the court time to consider Trump’s arguments against release of the documents, which was scheduled for Friday without a court order.

“The Select Committee wants to learn every detail of what went on in the White House on January 6th and in the days beforehand. We need to know precisely what role the former President and his aides played in efforts to stop the counting of the electoral votes and if they were in touch with anyone outside the White House attempting to overturn the outcome of the election,” Mississippi 2nd District Congressman Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the Select Committee said.

MSDH COVID-19 Reporting

YP – Hannah Harrison appointed as DPS Director of Human Resources

Commissioner Sean Tindell announced the appointment of Hannah Harrison to Director of Human Resources.

Hannah Harrison

Harrison is an accomplished professional with over ten years of experience in administration. Prior to joining the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Harrison served at the Mississippi Bar as Director of Communications and Engagement. She previously served as Director of Administration and Support Services at the Institutions of Higher Learning. Harrison has also served at the Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Harrison holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree from Mississippi College. She recently completed her Doctoral Degree in Human Capital Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her dissertation work specialized in a return-on-investment study of a statewide education initiative, Complete 2 Compete.

WJTV – EPA Administrator to visit Jackson on “Journey for Justice” tour

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will make his first stop on his “Journey for Justice” trip in Jackson on Monday, November 15.

Regan will embark on this trip to experience first-hand how environmental concerns are affecting marginalized communities.