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Senators vote down pay raise for state employees

JACKSON — Mississippi senators yesterday rejected a proposal to give a $1,000 pay raise to all state employees, but a top budget writer said legislators still might consider a raise for lower-paid government workers. Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, proposed the across-the-board pay raise, saying employees’ paychecks have remained stagnant while their insurance and retirement expenses have increased in recent years. ...

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Lawmakers say no to cities' request for new sales tax

It appears two Mississippi cities will not receive authority to enact a new sales tax. A Senate chairman said Friday that Mississippi lawmakers won’t authorize Hattiesburg or Greenville to set a 1 percent local sales tax, as the two cities requested. “We’re not going to do that,” Local and Private Committee Chairman Perry Lee, R-Mendenhall, told The Associated Press. Legislative ...

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Cochran supports House's version of flood insurance bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is praising the passage of legislation in the House of Representatives that, like a Senate-passed bill he helped write, would protect homeowners, businesses and communities from unreasonable flood insurance premiums without jeopardizing the stability of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Cochran said the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HR.3370) that the ...

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Reeves, Tollison introduce teacher salary legislation

JACKSON — Current Mississippi teachers would see a $3,500 increase in pay over the next 16 months while starting salaries would rise under a plan presented yesterday by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison. The proposal also includes a stipend to reward teachers for academic improvement at schools. “The Senate’s plan for teachers makes Mississippi ...

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OSHA backs off regulations on small farms' grain storage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) are pleased that small family-owned farms will not be subjected to unlawful scrutiny by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Under pressure from Cochran, Wicker and other lawmakers in the Senate and House, OSHA has agreed to withdraw its 2011 guidance memorandum on regulating small farms with grain ...

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Cochran, association talk water provisions in farm bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who met with members of the Mississippi Rural Water Association yesterday, said rural development and conservation provisions enacted with the new farm bill are intended to help rural communities meet growing demands for water and wastewater services, while reducing the amount of time it takes for eligible entities to gain access to ...

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Trial postponed in Aldridge family dispute

TUPELO — The case against state Rep. Brian Aldridge and his parents for allegedly taking property from a relative and converting it to their personal use has been delayed in Lee County Circuit Court. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports they were scheduled to go to trial Monday. It was delayed after defense attorney T.K. Moffett had a conflicting court ...

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Legislators mulling new regulation on abortions

JACKSON — Mississippi lawmakers are considering banning abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation, halfway through a normal full-term pregnancy of 40 weeks. Exceptions would be made to prevent permanent physical damage or death of the pregnant woman, or in cases of several fetal abnormalities. Health Department statistics show 2,176 abortions were done in Mississippi in 2012, the most recent statistics available. ...

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Lawmakers pushing for staggered pay raise for teachers

JACKSON — House Speaker Philip Gunn and fellow Republicans want to give a $1,500 raise to most public school teachers in 2015 and 2016, and a projected raise of around $2,750 over the following two years, assuming state revenue continues to grow at a healthy rate. The House Education Committee approved the plan yesterday, with House Republicans joining Gunn shortly ...

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Senate committee approves Wright as state superintendent

JACKSON — State Superintendent Carey Wright is one step closer to being confirmed to her post. The Senate Education Committee voted 14-1 today in favor of Wright, who was hired by the state Board of Education to lead Mississippi’s public schools. The measure goes next to the full Senate for consideration. Wright, who previously worked in the District of Columbia ...

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