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Tag Archives: PEER

PEER: Backlog of parole candidates costing state

JACKSON — Mississippi prison officials say they’re working to erase a backlog of parole cases that are up for consideration, as recommended by a legislative watchdog group. The Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review released a report today that said some inmates are not receiving parole hearings the first month they’re eligible, and that is causing the ...

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PEER criticizes DMH; has questions for LeGrand about cutting care

WHITFIELD — A legislative watchdog committee is criticizing how the Department of Mental Health handled a contract to shut down its community care unit at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield. The Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review, in a report released Friday, criticized the department’s $45,000 contract with Guided Steps to move 120 patients out of ...

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Lawmakers debate bills to fire state employees, shorten school year

JACKSON — The Mississippi Legislature is considering two education-related bills — one passed out of committee while the other was set aside. The Mississippi Department of Education would have the power to fire state employees at will for two years under a bill being considered in the House. State officials say they need the power to restructure the department to ...

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PEER critical of agency's handing of shelter funds

JACKSON — A legislative committee is criticizing state health officers for what it says is failure to distribute $1.6 million to domestic violence shelters across Mississippi. Deputy state health officer Mike Lucius told The Clarion-Ledger that a state law enacted in 1983 limits the amount any one shelter may get to $50,000 per fiscal year. “There is no way we ...

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PEER recommends changes to agencies' contracting process

JACKSON — PEER has completed a legislative request to review how state agencies contract for goods, services and construction and the transparency of the process. The requesting legislator was particularly concerned with vendors’ perspective of the contracting process. PEER sought to determine best practices in public contracting and whether Mississippi has the provisions in place to encourage and protect vendors ...

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Lawmakers could rethink law on delinquent taxes

JACKSON — State law currently requires the Mississippi Department of Revenue to garnish 100 percent of the wages of a government official or employee should that person become delinquent in paying taxes. Going back to September 2011, a legislative watchdog group recommended the law be changed to allow garnishment of 25 percent to 100 percent of wages until the tax ...

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PEER report on port expansion to be released this week

GULFPORT — A legislative committee will release a report this week on its analysis of spending at the State Port at Gulfport. Max Arinder, director of the Performance Evaulation and Expenditure Review Committee, told The Sun Herald that the report should be available to the public Friday. Gov. Phil Bryant, the Mississippi Development Authority and state port officials had wanted ...

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Business community has questions about proposed highway tax

JACKSON — Business groups still aren’t ready to raise Mississippi’s taxes to repair and build highways and bridges. In August, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, proposed a $700 million menu of taxes and asked other members of a study committee examining road needs to offer their own alternative revenue and spending plans. Highway officials say the state needs ...

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State port could land two new tenants; details pending

GULFPORT — The executive director of the Port of Gulfport says the facility could sign deals with two prospective tenants in the next six months. The Sun-Herald reports that news of the prospective tenants was revealed in a status report on a $570-million state restoration project at the port. It says the projects would open trade lines with northern Europe ...

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PEER: Some MDA loan programs drastically under-used

Four of the Mississippi Development Authority’s business development loan programs are severely under-utilized, and their future availability is questionable after a report by the Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee (PEER). The PEER report looked at the utilization rates for fiscal years 2006-2010 and FY 2010 year-end fund balances of seven of the MDA’s business development loan programs overall. The ...

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