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Analysis: Annual report dives deep into Mississippi finances

The new Mississippi Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has a chart that shows who is in charge of state government. The top of the chart on page 9? Not the governor, or legislators, or judges. It is the citizens of Mississippi. That means that the 170-page document is a report of how elected officials, state agency directors and government employees are ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Controlling the Kudzu of state spending

One of my many anonymous critics on a local blog zapped me last week over my column “A Peek behind Legislative Leaders’ Rhetoric.” In particular, he/she said I lack “a coherent alternate plan” of my own.   Well, I never guessed it might be a columnist’s job to propose a whole budget plan. But, an avid reader could find elements of ...

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JACK WEATHERLY — Doe’s: the tradition comes to Ridgeland

Maybe Shakespeare got it wrong. A Doe’s by any other name probably wouldn’t be as big of a deal. The restaurant did a very low profile opening last week but the fact that it was half full anyway is testament to the name of the steak and tamales restaurant that dates to 1941 in Greenville. No advertising beyond the sign ...

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BEN WILLIAMS — Gorsuch: The one Protestant

On April 10, 2017, the unorthodox 6-year, 11-month, 21-day drought of a Protestant on the U.S. Supreme Court presumably ended.  With his English wife of 20 years by his side and left hand resolutely on the family NIV Study Bible, Neil Gorsuch accepted the second lifetime appointment of his brief forty-nine year life. I say “presumably” because the country’s first ...

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TODD SMITH — Media deploy advertising to promote journalism in fake news era

The proliferation of fake news – be that the insult lobbed at journalists and publications that President Donald Trump and his administration detest or the websites peddling false information across the web to make a quick buck – has unleashed a wave of advertising from news media organizations looking to promote the value of responsible journalism. Earlier this month, Gannett ...

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BOBBY HARRISON: What happened to pre-special session transportation discussions?

It has been about a month since the 2017 legislative session ended, yet, at least in public there has been no discussions between the House and Senate leadership on how to deal with the state’s crumbling infrastructure. During the final days of the 2017 session, which ended March 29, the House members, prompted by their leadership, killed the budget bills ...

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CECIL BROWN — Subpar schools will continue to produce subpar results

More than 90 percent of all Mississippi kids attend public schools. That means that 90 percent of the state’s workforce, voters, parents, and leaders come from public schools. More than 60,000 teachers and support staff work in Mississippi’s public schools, and Mississippi state government spends more than $2 billion a year on public education. In addition, local taxpayers spend untold millions more. Is it ...

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ANALYSIS: Report says Mississippi pension funding too low

A new report says that even if Mississippi’s public employee pension system was meeting investment assumptions, governments still aren’t putting away enough money to whittle down debt from previous pension underfunding. The study, released last week by the Pew Charitable Trusts, raises questions about the long-term course of the Public Employees Retirement System, though the system has enough money to pay years’ ...

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