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Mississippi Senate transportation chair runs for commission

A Democrat who has served in the Mississippi Senate since 1993 says he’s running for transportation commissioner and wants to put more money into highways and bridges. Sen. Willie Simmons of Cleveland is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Several legislative colleagues, including Republican Sens. Briggs Hopson of Vicksburg and Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula, stood with Simmons as he announced ...

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Mississippi lawmakers react to Gov. Bryant’s speech

A sampling of reaction from legislators to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s 2019 State of the State speech, his eighth and last address: » Rep. Robert Johnson III, a Natchez Democrat, said he sees Mississippi’s economy in a dimmer light than Bryant: “The state is losing population and economically. Although the governor has done a fine job of maintaining the status ...

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Bryant pushes teacher pay, school safety in State of State

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant used his final State of the State speech Tuesday to look back on his two terms and to offer proposals for his final year in office. Bryant, a Republican, asked lawmakers to enact a teacher pay raise and to approve a school safety program. He mentioned concerns about active shooters in U.S. schools, but did not ...

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Mississippi House: Power cooperatives could offer internet

With rural residents facing few choices for high speed internet, Mississippi lawmakers pushed ahead Tuesday with a measure that would allow the state’s electric cooperatives to offer the service. The House voted 115-3 to approve House Bill 366 , sending it to the Senate for more debate. The measure would allow Mississippi’s 25 electric cooperatives to form subsidiaries to offer ...

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Reeves: Strong revenue no reason to ‘spend, spend, spend’

Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday that Mississippi tax collections are better than expected for the first half of the budget year, but he said that doesn’t mean the state should spend more money. The state budget year started in July. From then through December, state revenues were $85.5 million higher than they were during the same period a ...

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Mississippi could see push-pull on Medicaid expansion

Just as the leader of Mississippi’s Medicaid program cracked open the door Monday to the idea of expanding health coverage to some of the state’s uninsured residents, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves seemed to slam it shut. Medicaid Director Drew Snyder told House Appropriations Committee members Monday that the agency continues to hear from hospitals about how many patients don’t have ...

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Analysis: Public safety chief seeks exit from civil service

The leader of Mississippi’s Department of Public Safety wants to remove the agency from the state civil service system forever. Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher says he’s been forced to reinstate a number of officers after what he considers “terrible” decisions by the state Employee Appeals Board that overturned agency disciplinary decisions. But Tommy Simpson of the Southern States Police ...

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Mississippi treasurer Fitch running for attorney general

Mississippi’s second-term state treasurer says she is running for attorney general because she wants to protect gun rights, fight opioid abuse and crack down on human trafficking. Republican Lynn Fitch of Ridgeland is traveling the state this week to discuss her candidacy for the state’s top legal job. She began her career 34 years ago as an assistant attorney general. ...

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Groups using Super Bowl in push against Confederate statues

A coalition of civil rights groups in Atlanta is using this year’s Super Bowl to help kick off a renewed “war on the Confederacy,” in a fight to remove Confederate monuments around the nation. The groups on Thursday announced a planned Feb. 2 rally on the eve of the championship football game being hosted in the city. Gerald Griggs of ...

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Dem chosen to lead prominent committee in Mississippi House

The Republican speaker of the Mississippi House is appointing a Democrat to lead one of the top committees. Speaker Philip Gunn says Thursday that Democratic Rep. Angela Cockerham of Magnolia is the new chairwoman of the House Judiciary B Committee. The chairmanship was previously held by Republican Andy Gipson of Braxton, who left the House last year to become state ...

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