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Arkansas option gains steam as states look for Medicaid expansion alternatives

Three weeks ago, when Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe was in Washington for the National Governors Association meeting, he made a trip to Health and Human Services. Beebe had an unusual Obamacare proposal. The Arkansas legislature did not want to expand Medicaid for those under 133 percent of the federal poverty line, an option under the Affordable Care Act. Instead, it ...

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With bills on new DOR home dead or dying, attention turns to RFP selection

Barring a late surprise, the winner in the competition to be the new home of the Mississippi Department of Revenue should be known by the middle of next week, state officials say. The Department of Finance & Administration late Thursday afternoon opened the ‘final and best” lease offers from representatives of the three properties still in the running—downtown Jackson’s Landmark ...

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Community colleges getting additional $8 million for job training

A measure that will provide $8 million for Workforce Enhancement Training at community colleges received Gov. Phil Bryant’s signature Wednesday. The colleges will use the WET fund money to provide training for jobs and skills that employers have identified as being in demand. “For Mississippi to compete in a global marketplace, we must have a skilled workforce,” Bryant said. “This ...

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Congress may divert financial literacy training funds to school security

Legislation to increase surveillance and deploy National Guard troops in schools, among other measures, could gain bipartisan approval in Congress – but only by sacrificing such education programs as financial literacy for students, Time.com reports. The school safety bill, introduced by Barbara Boxer of California, was originally going to spend $800 million on surveillance and possible use of Guardsmen in ...

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Hospital execs strike urgent note with time running out for Medicaid plan

The Mississippi Legislature is set to adjourn April 7 with no deal in sight on a federal offer to expand Medicaid. The ticking clock has executives of hospitals around the state worried that time will expire and hospitals and the entire health care sector will suffer the consequences, putting about 9,000 jobs at risk. Ahead are “devastating” cuts in the ...

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Closings of 7 airport towers in state may become permanent

Jackson’s Hawkins Field air traffic control tower and six other control towers in Mississippi are among 173 scheduled to be closed nationwide in early April, as the Federal Aviation Administration shuts off funding for those services to accommodate the fiscal sequester of $86 billion for the remainder of 2013. In addition to Hawkins (HKS), Mississippi airports on the list are ...

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Sequester yet to burden Jackson International but airport in busy period

That worrisome federal budget sequester – the latest fiscal drama brought to us by a White House and Congress that can’t play nice in the same sandbox – has not yet hurt operations at Jackson’s Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport. Passengers are nonetheless advised to show up early for their flights, say airport officials, citing delays that cutbacks in air ...

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Anti-Lane Linger Enforcement: A law we could learn to love here

Georgia is considering a law we can only hope speedily finds its way from Atlanta’s Gold Dome, west on Interstate-20 through Alabama and on to Mississippi’s Capitol in Jackson. Call it the “Get Out of the Way” law drafted in a state where left lane slow-pokes are typically advised to “either run with the big dogs or get back on ...

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Senate Rejects Last Sequester Bills

Time for Plan B! Wait, there is no Plan B? As expected, the Senate rejected rival bills aimed at preventing the looming sequester Thursday, meaning that $85 billion in automatic spending cuts will almost definitely kick in on Friday. Bills introduced by both Democrats and Republicans failed to receive the necessary 60 votes to pass. With no other plan in ...

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CARTER: Wicker may someday regret his distortion of Hagel’s speech

Roger Wicker, Mississippi’s junior senator, helped lead Washington Post opinion writer Dana Milbank to this conclusion on the nasty politics that marked Chuck Hagel’s road to confirmation as secretary of defense Tuesday: The confirmation,  “ended as it began — with a smear.” Sen. Thad Cochran, Wicker’s senior Mississippi counterpart, restored some balance by joining three other Republicans in voting for ...

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