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Tag Archives: Gov. Phil Bryant

S&P maintains state’s strong credit rating but waves caution flag

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By TED CARTER The fiscal distress of Mississippi state government has not kept it from maintaining “AA” S&P ratings on its $4.3 billion in general obligation bonds and $1.1 billion in bonds backed by state appropriations. The ratings news came with a warning that the debt rating agency is concerned about the level of state spending amid sustained drops in revenue ...

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Chief of Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration retiring

Kevin Upchurch, state fiscal officer and executive director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, is retiring after more than 32 years in state government. He plans to depart at the end of June. Upchurch is a minister of building and grounds of sorts for the state. But the 400-employee department he oversees has a host of other responsibilities, ...

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More budget turbulence: State short $56.8M for FY18

By Ted Carter A $56.8 million mistake in calculating state revenues will put state finances further in the hole as budget writers begin work on a fiscal 2018 budget. In a joint statement Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn attributed the $56.8 million shortfall to a “staff error” that over-estimated revenues during the FY2017 budget negotiations. It ...

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Yarber in fighting mood as Bryant signs Jackson-Evers takeover

Gov. Phil Bryant’s signing Wednesday of a bill giving control of Jackson-Medgar Evers International Airport and Hawkins Field to the state led Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber to pledge a constitutional challenge of the takeover. Yarber said in an emailed statement that he will “stand up for the city’s residents when it comes to unconstitutional measures.” The bill shifts policy making ...

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(UPDATED) Gov. Bryant bucks business community, signs anti-gay bill

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By TED CARTER Mississippi business organizations and the state’s major employers ultimately did not have influence sufficient to dissuade Gov. Phil Bryant from signing House Bill 1523, legislation the governor says protects religious freedoms but opponents say legalizes discrimination against gay people and others. Putting aside protests from business groups and businesses across the state, Bryant Tuesday morning gave his ...

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State’s tax collection shortfalls continue through March, hit $79.6 million

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By TED CARTER Here’s some news that leaders in the Mississippi Legislature will have to ponder before deciding next week to begin phasing out the state business franchise tax and certain individual income tax rates: Revenue collections for March fell $20 million below projections, a trend that started in December with revenues coming in $21.6 million lower than expected. Year to ...

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UPDATE: Manufacturers Assoc. latest to oppose state’s anti-gay bill

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By TED CARTER The 2,100-member Mississippi Manufacturers Association late Monday joined the Mississippi Economic Council in denouncing a so-called religious freedom bill that has caused an uproar statewide since the Legislature passed it last week. Their denunciations have followed similar condemnations from major Mississippi employers such as Nissan, Toyota, Ingalls Shipbuilding, MGM Resorts and Casinos and such national companies as AT&T. ...

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Bryant, businesses mum on anti-gay provisions of ‘Freedom of Conscience’ bill

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By TED CARTER Mississippi’s governor and its business leaders have stayed silent as a decisive legislative vote approaches on a bill supporters say protects “freedom of conscience” and opponents say invites businesses and government to discriminate against gays, lesbians and trans-gender people. House Bill 1523, dubbed the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” by House Speaker Philip Gunn ...

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Rhea Sheldon appointed judge

Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed Purvis attorney Rhea Sheldon chancery judge in south Mississippi’s 10th Chancery Court District, which consists of Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, and Perry counties. Sheldon succeeds Judge Dawn Beam, who was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court by Bryant in December. Sheldon has been in private law practice in Mississippi since 2003, and most recently she ...

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