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Alabama budget woes: state’s GOP lawmakers look to gambling

gambling

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Republicans in both chambers of the Alabama Legislature are looking to gambling as a possible component of a solution to the state’s budget woes. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, filed a bill Tuesday that would authorize a lottery and four casinos. He said it is time to let Alabama voters decide the issue of gambling. ...

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With $200M available, next step is setting emergency bridge fix priorities

By TED CARTER Millions of dollars will soon be on the way to the Mississippi Department of Transportation for a triage effort to repair state bridges that have been neglected to the point farmers and other commercial transporters can no longer use them. MDOT’s three district commissioners must set the priorities for the repairs and spending of the $200 million legislators ...

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House votes to remove graduation requirement to pass tests

JACKSON — The movement to allow Mississippi public high school students to graduate without passing four subject area tests continues to gain steam in the Legislature. The House Thursday voted 119-0 to pass House Bill 665, which would remove the tests in algebra I, biology, English II and U.S. history as a barrier beginning this spring. Students would still have ...

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Bill would duplicate Miss. law on abortion death statistics

JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate has voted to make the state keep track of how many women die because of abortion. There’s one catch: That requirement has been in state law since 2004. Senate Bill 2043 (http://bit.ly/1zUyjxa ), which passed the Senate on Thursday, tells the state Health Department to establish a Maternal Mortality Review Committee. The group would keep track ...

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House approves recording, concert, theater incentives

JACKSON — House members favor subsidies for people who record music or produce concerts or theater performances in Mississippi. The House voted 110-5 to pass House Bill 907 Thursday, sending it to the Senate. House Tourism Committee Chairwoman Rita Martinson, a Madison Republican, says the measure will lure more recording and concerts to Mississippi. An out-of-state company spending at least ...

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Rethinking Farish Street — Mayor, Jackson city council want to take over redevelopment effort

Jackson’s mayor and City Council say they want to begin calling the shots on redeveloping downtown’s Farish Street. Voicing frustration last week with the years of starts, stops and legal entanglements that have marked the Jackson Redevelopment Authority’s handling of the now-dead redevelopment, Mayor Tony Yarber and the council say they want the entire project “rethought.” And they want to ...

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Bill fails that would limit attorney general's power to sue

JACKSON — Mississippi House members are rejecting new restrictions against Attorney General Jim Hood’s ability to file lawsuits or hire outside lawyers. The House voted 66-49 Wednesday to reject a House Bill 1201, which would require the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state to approve the attorney general’s filing of any lawsuit in which the state could win more ...

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Plan would give up to $1.5M to music recording, concerts

JACKSON — Mississippi license plates and highway welcome signs proclaim the state as the Birthplace of America’s Music, bowing to the state’s blues heritage. Now, a legislative proposal wants to pay to make sure more music makes a home in Mississippi. The House Tourism Committee passed House Bill 907 on Wednesday, moving to subsidize some music recordings, concerts and theater ...

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Special education voucher bill advances in state Senate

JACKSON — Lawmakers are pursuing multiple options to help special education students, as a reprise of last year’s fight over vouchers for special education students looms. On Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee approved Senate Bill 2695, which gives $7,000 in state money to the parent of any Mississippi special education student who wanted to withdraw their child from their local ...

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And away we go — Mississippi lawmakers begin their 3-month session

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS and JEFF AMY JACKSON — The Mississippi Legislature has started its 2015 session. The 122-member House and 52-member Senate gaveled to order at noon Tuesday at the state Capitol. During the next three months, lawmakers will consider bills to shape public policy for education, health care, transportation and other issues. They face a deadline in late March to ...

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