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Mississippi governor: Time to consider starting a lottery

Gov. Phil Bryant told lawmakers in his State of the State speech Tuesday night that it might be time for Mississippi to create a lottery as a way to generate revenue without raising taxes. His proposal was met with only a smattering of applause. Mississippi is one of six states without a lottery, according to the National Conference of State ...

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Panel tables plan for judges to be elected with party labels

A House committee is setting aside a proposal to have Mississippi’s judges run as Democrats and Republicans. The House Judiciary A Committee, on a split voice vote on Tuesday, tabled House Bill 496. Mississippi switched from partisan to nonpartisan judicial elections in 1994. However, House Speaker Pro Tem Greg Snowden, a Meridian Republican, says he thinks the state should switch back. ...

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Corporate tax collections main culprit in revenue decline

By BOBBY HARRISON JACKSON – Corporate tax collections peaked in Mississippi in fiscal year 2015 at $714.1 million, just as overall tax collections peaked for the state during the same time period. But the following fiscal year, overall revenue collections from taxes, assessments and earnings on state investments were $34.3 million less than the prior year. It marked only the ...

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Proposal could shift more school funding to local districts

Mississippi’s per-pupil education spending would remain at least the same or could even increase, but more of the cost could be shifted to local taxpayers rather than the state budget under proposals for a new school funding formula that consultants presented to lawmakers Monday. The per-pupil cost would depend on several variables, including how much would be spent on technology, ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Road and bridge crisis causes great ponderation

Riding the rural highways of Mississippi, it’s easy to see why so many citizens want taxes cut. Vistas of disrepair and deterioration overwhelm. Strapped folk in these areas see little benefit from state spending. To them, every precious dollar they send to state and local governments must seem to disappear down endless holes. They are beyond taxed enough already.    ...

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Hood wants doctors to check for painkiller prescriptions

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says doctors should have to check an electronic registry before prescribing potentially addictive painkillers. The Democrat told reporters Thursday that he wants a law or regulations requiring physicians and others to check the prescription monitoring program run by the Mississippi Pharmacy Board to prevent patients from acquiring multiple prescriptions. Hood says he fears illegal sales ...

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GOP state Rep. Barker running for mayor of Hattiesburg

Third-term Republican state Rep. Toby Barker says he is running for mayor of Hattiesburg. The city’s Democratic mayor, Johnny DuPree, said months ago that he will seek a fifth term this year. The Hattiesburg American reports Barker announced his candidacy in a news release Thursday. He says he wants to unify the city by focusing on “quality education, state-of-the-art infrastructure ...

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Governor sets $51 million more in Mississippi budget cuts

Gov. Phil Bryant on Thursday ordered another $51 million in cuts from Mississippi’s $6.4 billion budget, as state revenues continue to lag. “It has become clear that revenue is not adequate to support budgeted expenses for the current fiscal year,” the Republican wrote in a letter to Department of Finance and Administration Executive Director Laura Jackson, ordering the cuts. In September, Bryant sliced ...

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Trade Mart to be razed and replaced

By JACK WEATHERLY With the receipt of the last installment of a $30 million bond issue, the Mississippi Trade Mart will be razed and replaced by a facility attached to the Mississippi Coliseum. The 66,000-square-foot exhibit hall built in 1975 is outmoded and its flat roof tends to leak, according to Cindy Hyde-Smith, commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. A new ...

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Bill introduced to make physician-patient sex crime

By JACK WEATHERLY A bill has been introduced in the Legislature that would criminalize physicians having sex with patients. Dr. John Hall, executive director of the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure, said late in 2016 that he was working with lawmakers to draft such a bill. However, the effort ran into resistance from some members of the board. State Attorney ...

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