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BOBBY HARRISON: Rules are made to be broken in the Legislature

A key deadline in the Mississippi legislative process occurs next Tuesday. It is the deadline for a bill to pass out of committee in the originating chamber. For instance, theoretically, for someone  interested in the lottery, if a lottery bill does not pass out of committee in either the House or the Senate on Tuesday, the issue is dead for ...

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Bill: Make schools fly Mississippi’s Confederate-themed flag

A bill advancing in the Mississippi House of Representatives would require all K-12 schools to fly the state flag or lose their state accreditation. House Bill 280, passed 13-8 Wednesday in the House Education Committee, is a broader mandate that schools must follow the state Constitution and all state laws. But one of Mississippi’s laws is an oft-flouted mandate that ...

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In reversal, House votes to limit attorney general’s powers

The Republican-led Mississippi House has reversed course and advanced a bill to limit powers of the Democratic attorney general. House Bill 555 passed 63-55 Wednesday, mostly along party lines. It moves to the Senate. The vote came one week after the bill originally failed 58-60. The bill would require the attorney general to receive permission from a three-member board before filing ...

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Official: Amazon to start charging tax on Mississippi sales

Mississippi’s chief tax collector has announced that internet retailing titan Amazon will collect Mississippi’s 7 percent sales tax beginning Feb. 1. “I appreciate Amazon for voluntarily stepping forward to collect the Mississippi sales tax,” Revenue Commissioner Herb Frierson said Tuesday in a statement. “I hope that other e-retailers will follow the lead of Amazon.” Those other sellers may not have ...

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College Board trustee Karen Cummins dies from cancer

A College Board trustee in Mississippi has died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Karen Cummins died at home Sunday in Oakland. She was 59. Cummins had risen through the ranks with Atmos Energy, starting as an office clerk in 1979 and becoming a vice president for the natural gas utility in 2012. Cummins oversaw northern Mississippi operations for Atmos. ...

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State personnel director to lead Mississippi Bar Association

The director of the agency that oversees Mississippi government employees will be moving to a new job. Deanne Mosley goes to work for the Mississippi Bar Association on March 1 and becomes the association’s executive director May 1. She will succeed Larry Houchins, who is retiring after 37 years. Mosley says the lawyers’ group wanted a two-month transition. Mosley, a ...

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Mississippi jobless rate dips in December, but payrolls dive

Two surveys tell different stories about Mississippi’s job market in December. The unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent, its lowest level since January 2004. But employer payrolls took a sharp dive. Mississippi’s jobless rate fell from 5.7 percent in November and was below the 6.8 percent of December 2015. More people entered the workforce, more found jobs, and the number ...

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Bills would ease early voting and online voter registration

Proposals to expand access to early voting and to create online registration for first-time voters are advancing at the Mississippi Capitol. So is a plan that could eventually simplify the process of restoring voting rights for people who served time for nonviolent felonies. All three bills passed the House Elections Committee on Monday and move to the full House for ...

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Mississippi House minority leader says relations improved

Partisan tensions in the Mississippi House have eased a bit this year, the leader of the Democratic minority said Monday. Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis told a luncheon sponsored by the Stennis Institute of Government and the Capitol press corps that he and Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn have been holding regular meetings. Baria says Democrats want to ...

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Carrollton mayor resigning, cites job duties

Mayor Russell Wilson is resigning from his post leading the 200-resident town of Carrollton. Wilson tells The Greenwood Commonwealth that he is resigning effective Feb. 1 The outgoing mayor, who manages Carroll County Farm Bureau insurance agency, says he was recently promoted to manage the organization’s Leflore County insurance agency as well, and no longer has time to be mayor. ...

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