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Author Archives: For the MBJ

Hughes seeks teacher input to guide education improvements

education

By BOBBY HARRISON Rep. Jay Hughes, D-Oxford, said he got the idea for the two-day education conference he will host Friday and Saturday in Jackson while observing the work of the House Education Committee this past session. “It came about while in the Education Committee watching six or seven bills be passed in five minutes,” said Hughes, who is not on ...

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Study on taxes, spending may aid effort of infrastructure program

transportation

By BOBBY HARRISON Various groups working on a comprehensive plan to improve the state’s roads and bridges are hoping Speaker Philip Gunn’s proposal to form “working groups” to study and make suggestions on Mississippi’s taxing and spending practices revitalizes their effort. “We’re not going to give up on this. We are still working,” said Scott Waller, executive vice president of ...

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Businesses welcome Elvis Presley Birthplace Trail completion

Elvis Presley Birthplace

By DENNIS SEID / Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal TUPELO — No more orange barrels to drive around, no more lane shifts, no more trouble getting in and out of parking spaces. “Hallelujah,” said Pam Fair, a co-owner of Sparrows on Main, a boutique on East Main Street that opened in May 2014. Four months later, work began on the Elvis ...

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BOBBY HARRISON: Taxes make possible the best of government work

Government-feature_rgb

A reader emailed to point out that while reporting that the 3 percent tax on insurance premiums was a growing source of revenue for a beleaguered state budget, I did not explain that the levy most likely was resulting in people having to pay more for insurance. Granted, taxes do not occur in a vacuum. They cost somebody extra money ...

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AG Hood will no longer defend HB 1523

News

By BOBBY HARRISON Attorney General Jim Hood announced Wednesday afternoon his office no longer would defend the controversial House Bill 1523 that allows public officials and others not to provide services for same-sex marriages. The legislation, passed during the 2016 session, was overturned recently by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves of the Southern District of Mississippi. Gov. Phil Bryant, a strong ...

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FAA expands restricted air space over Stennis Space Center

stennis space center

The Federal Aviation Administration has expanded the restricted air space over NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. The expanded restricted air space bolsters Mississippi’s efforts to recruit more industry leaders to Stennis Space Center and the Gulf Coast region. “The FAA’s approval of the expansion of restricted air space over Stennis Space Center strengthens the NASA facility’s position as ...

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Legal time spent on religious freedom bill racking up

mississippi

By BOBBY HARRISON A spokeswoman for Attorney General Jim Hood said his office has spent more than 400 hours defending House Bill 1523, which allows government officials and businesses not to provide services for same-sex weddings. The legislation, passed during the 2016 session, was struck down recently by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves for the Southern District of Mississippi. Hood ...

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Insurance premium tax only bright spot in state’s revenue stream

taxes

By BOBBY HARRISON Surging revenue from Mississippi’s tax on insurance premiums has prevented what has been a dismal year for state revenue collections from being even worse. While state revenue collections for the fiscal year that ended June 30 are down year over year for only the fourth time since at least 1970, revenue from the 3 percent tax on insurance ...

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Catfish production holds steady as demand stays high

catfish

As demand for catfish remains high, the only components of its production trending down this year in Mississippi are pond acreage and the price of feed. Producers are receiving an average of $1.12 to $1.21 per pound of catfish and paying less than $380 for a ton of feed. To Jimmy Avery, Extension aquaculture professor at the Mississippi State University ...

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AG: State’s leadership not focused on people

Government-feature_rgb

By BOBBY HARRISON Attorney General Jim Hood, not ruling out a campaign for governor in 2019, said Thursday the legislative leadership is focusing on social issues and corporate tax cuts instead of legislation that “will help people.” Hood, Mississippi’s sole statewide elected Democrat, reiterated he believes the Republican leadership of the Legislature hastily passed the Budget Transparency and Simplification Act, ...

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