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BILL CRAWFORD — Special session puts Band-Aid on state road and bridge sores

BILL CRAWFORD Was that a kinder, gentler Tate Reeves emerging from the recently concluded special session of the Mississippi Legislature? Reeves said the public should note the session’s bipartisan goodwill, wrote the AP’s Emily Wagster Pettus in a wrap-up story last week. Goodwill between the House and Senate much less bipartisan goodwill have not been at the forefront of Reeves’ ...

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‘Obamacare’ insurance rates will stay level in Mississippi

Rates for Mississippians who get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act are projected to stay basically level next year. The consulting firm Avalere Health and The Associated Press analyzed state data and found premiums in “Obamacare’s” health insurance marketplace will rise only 0.2 percent in Mississippi next year. That’s lower than the average 3.6 percent increase in proposed or ...

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Credit rater takes brighter view of Mississippi finances

One of the nation’s three main credit rating agencies is feeling a little more confident about Mississippi’s financial picture. Standard & Poor’s Financial Services on Friday removed its negative outlook on Mississippi’s debt, instead raising the outlook to stable. Mississippi remains rated AA by Standard & Poor’s. Credit ratings can influence how much the state has to pay in interest ...

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City with $600K budget deficit closes jail, lays off jailers

Officials say a Mississippi city facing a budget deficit of roughly $600,000 has decided to close its jail and lay off its jailers. WLOX-TV reported Thursday that Ocean Springs aldermen voted last month to close its jail and send inmates to a county detention center. Aldermen say the city will be making cuts to balance next year’s budget in light ...

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Mayor: City earmarking property tax increase for road repair

A south Mississippi city is raising taxes to pay for more roadwork. WDAM-TV reports the city of Laurel is raising property taxes by 4 mills, or $40 on a $100,000 house. The City Council approved the tax increase as they approved the city budget beginning Oct. 1. Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee says the money will be earmarked to repair roads. ...

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Mississippi governor has September deadline on lottery bill

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has a mid-September deadline to sign a bill creating a state lottery to help pay for roads and bridges, and he has promised to do so. Bryant said getting a lottery up and running will take at least six months. Some lawmakers said it could take a year. The governor will appoint five people to serve ...

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BEN WILLIAMS — PowerScoring Trump’s judicial appointments in the first 18 months

Ben Williams In his first 18 months in office, President Trump placed 44 lifetime Article III federal judges on the bench. Conservative pundits praise the record. But how do the 44 confirmations really stack up? The U.S. currently has 860 congressionally established Article III judicial positions, breaking down as follows: 9 Supreme Court justices, 179 appellate judges, 663 district judges, ...

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Farmers to get aid on Chinese tariff impact

By JACK WEATHERLY Willard Jacks, Mississippi representative on the American Soybean Association board, said in June regarding the looming Chinese tariff that “we’ve got a couple of months to get this resolved.” While the two countries have not resolved the issue, the United States has come up with a stopgap measure. That was announced Monday, about two months later. U.S. ...

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Senate approves bill dividing $700M in oil spill damages

Mississippi senators late Tuesday approved a bill to divide up $700 million in oil spill damages, setting aside more than $100 million overall for special projects. The Senate voted 42-8 in favor of the bill after only brief debate that included one senator reading the entire list of 128 earmarked projects. The measure moves to the House for more debate, ...

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