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Tag Archives: column

SPENCER RITCHIE — Changes to Mississippi campaign finance laws affect business community

Mississippi campaign finance laws are about to change, and it’s not just officeholders and candidates that need to be prepared for the changes. Businesses and other organizations that seek to participate in elections and ballot measures through political committees must also be ready. On April 11, 2017, Governor Phil Bryant signed into law Senate Bill 2689, legislation instituting several reforms ...

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Analysis: School takeover tangled in web of other issues

The potential state takeover of Mississippi’s second-largest school district has highlighted the depth of anger some people feel about how policymakers treat public education and how some legislators have acted toward the capital city. The state Board of Education last week asked Republican Gov. Phil Bryant to declare that an “extreme emergency” exists in Jackson Public Schools. That is a ...

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Analysis: Pickering’s school funding ideas cut against grain

Legislative leaders recently said that they’d still like to rewrite Mississippi’s public school funding formula, and urged people with ideas to speak up. State Auditor Stacey Pickering did. At least one of the things he wants is very different than what lawmakers considered this spring. Pickering has been a longtime critic of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, the current funding ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Do governor’s appointees not give a squat about his standards?

Did you read Geoff Pender’s terrific column “Take some aspirin before searching Transparency Mississippi website” in the Clarion-Ledger?  If transparency in government spending matters to you, this is a must read.   Pender pointed to non-transparent disclosures on the transparency site by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, then said, “Apparently, they don’t feel like telling the public squat about their travel. ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Will Mississippi tax cuts have results like Kansas?

Is Kansas a lesson for Mississippi?   Conservative Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican controlled Kansas Legislature enacted massive state tax cuts five years ago, making Kansas the national poster child for anti-tax advocates.   Earlier this month, the Kansas Legislature, led by newly elected moderate Republicans, reversed those deep tax cuts following huge budget shortfalls and limited economic growth. ...

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Analysis: Rep’s silence after lynch remark strains relations

In 2015, a white Mississippi lawmaker went to the front of the state House chamber and apologized for saying in an interview that black people in his town were getting food stamps and what he called “welfare crazy checks.” The apology by a deflated-looking Republican Rep. Gene Alday of Walls lasted only about 30 seconds. It was received by tepid ...

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PHIL HARDWICK: It’s all about value

  Question: Our business wants to increase sales, but is having a difficult time because there is a lot of competition in our town. A consultant told us that customers did not perceive our business as providing as much value as our competitors. Our prices are already the same or lower. What can we do? A: Value is more than ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Controlling the Kudzu of state spending

One of my many anonymous critics on a local blog zapped me last week over my column “A Peek behind Legislative Leaders’ Rhetoric.” In particular, he/she said I lack “a coherent alternate plan” of my own.   Well, I never guessed it might be a columnist’s job to propose a whole budget plan. But, an avid reader could find elements of ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Legislature needs rightsizing too

Republican legislators insist they are making the right moves to “rightsize” state government, which includes shrinking the state budget. If they mean what they say, the Legislature, itself, should be on the rightsizing menu too.    Mississippi has one of the larger legislatures in the United States, especially for our small population. We have 122 representatives and 52 senators for ...

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