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Analysis: Bills pass unseen in latest road-money drama twist

It’s one of the eternal truths of the Mississippi Legislature: Most lawmakers vote on bills they haven’t read. That may not square with the idealized, Schoolhouse Rock-vision of the legislative process that’s taught in civics, but there are just too many bills. And unlike in Congress, Mississippi lawmakers don’t each have paid staff members to examine bills for them. Typically, ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Shift tax burden as recommended or delay tax cuts

The Tax Foundation expert legislative leaders brought in last fall to advise them on tax reform recommended a shift in the state’s tax burden – away from corporate and individual income taxes to user-based taxes.    The key word is “shift.”     User-based taxes – gas taxes, sales taxes, use taxes, etc. – are already on the books in Mississippi. ...

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Mississippi governor wants renewed push for lottery

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says he wants legislators to make a late-session push to enact a lottery as a way to possibly generate tens of millions of dollars a year to boost the state budget. In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Bryant also says he is asking the state Department of Finance and Administration to thoroughly review ...

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ICE agents arrest 55 working at Asian restaurants in metro Jackson, Meridian

By JACK WEATHERLY Fifty-five foreign nationals were arrested Wednesday in six Asian restaurants in metro Jackson and two in Meridian  by agents of the Immigration and U.S. Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Thomas Byrd, public affairs officer for the ICE office in New Orleans, would not say what the charges were, only that the agents executed criminal search warrants. Byrd said he ...

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TODD SMITH — U.S. is split on media treatment of Trump

In the wake of numerous contentious encounters between President Donald Trump’s White House and the national press corps, Americans disagree on the news media’s coverage of the new president and his administration. Just over a third of Americans (36 percent) think the media have been too tough on Trump, while just under a third (31 percent) think it has been ...

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Mississippi lawmakers gear up for final weeks of budgeting

Mississippi lawmakers are turning their attention to one of their biggest jobs this session — deciding how to spend taxpayers’ money. They will plug some holes in the budget for the year that ends June 30. And, they will set new spending levels for fiscal 2018, which begins July 1. The deadline to agree on budgets is in late March. ...

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1 bill to strengthen Mississippi governor advances; 1 dies

Mississippi legislators have advanced one bill to strengthen the state’s constitutionally weak governor but killed another. Senators on Monday reconsidered and killed a bill to let the governor, rather than a board, appoint the director of the state Department of Mental Health. Senate Bill 2567 passed the Senate last week but was put on hold. Senators voted not to release the ...

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CEO who knew of Mississippi kickbacks seeks light sentence

A Texas man who has pleaded guilty to bribing Mississippi’s former prison chief argues that he should get a lower sentence or stay out of federal prison altogether. The sentencing hearing for Mark Longoria of Houston began Monday and is scheduled to continue Tuesday. He faces up to five years in prison. Longoria waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a ...

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Analysis: Lack of info not helping school funding rewrite

There’s still time to have a real discussion about possible changes to Mississippi’s school funding formula. Last week’s derailment of what had once looked like a legislative freight train might provide the opportunity. Unable to decide on what proposals to bring forward, leaders in the House and Senate both abandoned placeholder bills to die at Thursday’s deadline. The issue could ...

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