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2 Senate seats up in Mississippi as GOP defends its majority

Republicans suddenly find themselves defending two seats in Mississippi this year as they try to maintain their slim majority in the U.S. Senate. Republican Sen. Roger Wicker is already up for re-election in the deeply conservative state. And 80-year-old Republican Sen. Thad Cochran announced Monday that he is resigning April 1 because of poor health. Cochran is just over halfway ...

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Top Dem in Mississippi House considers run for US Senate

The Democratic leader in the Mississippi state House said Monday that he is considering running for U.S. Senate this year. Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis spoke at a forum in Jackson attended by reporters, lobbyists and others interested in government. In a speech geared toward a statewide audience, Baria said Mississippi is experiencing a “brain drain” because leaders ...

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Analysis: Wicker praises Trump as ’18 Senate race approaches

Facing a potential Republican primary battle in 2018, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi is stepping up his praise of President Donald Trump, who won the state with 58 percent of the vote last November. When Trump spoke to the United Nations in September, Wicker said the president “was unapologetically clear and firm about America’s priorities, namely our resolve to ...

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Telemedicine rules revisited in Senate committee hearing

By JACK WEATHERLY The Senate Public Welfare Committee held a hearing Tuesday afternoon  at the state Capitol to address telemedicine. Fourteen witnesses were questioned by the committee during the three-hour hearing. Chairman Dean Kirby, a Republican, said afterward that he was not aware of any legislation being readied for the upcoming legislative session in January. Earlier this year, a measure ...

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Senate votes to scrap catfish inspection program

WASHINGTON — The Senate has voted to scrap a new catfish inspection program that critics have argued is wasteful and unnecessary. The recent vote came just after President Barack Obama visited Vietnam, a major exporter of catfish to the United States that has criticized the program. The Senate has approved by 55-43 a resolution that would void the regulations, if the House agrees and Obama ...

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Mississippi Senate OKs tax cut bill, fate in House unclear

The Mississippi Senate has voted to phase out the corporate franchise tax, reduce the individual income tax and give a tax break to people who are self-employed. Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who is pushing the plan, says it will spur economic growth. Critics say the plan would eventually reduce state revenue by 10 percent in a state where a ...

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Cochran becomes chairman of Senate Appropriations panel

JACKSON — Mississippi Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran is chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved an organization resolution that, among other things, affirmed committee chairmanships for the new Congress. Cochran’s selection was initiated by Republican members of the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. Cochran, 77, was re-elected to a seventh term in November. Cochran ...

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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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Bryant to unveil state budget plan for next year

JACKSON — Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is releasing his Mississippi budget blueprint for the coming year. He is expected propose setting aside money for the second year of a teacher pay raise that he approved earlier this year. He’s also expected to propose funding a new program that would help with workforce training in community colleges. Bryant is holding an ...

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Cochran carried 58 counties to Childer's 24 in Senate general election

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Here’s a glance at Mississippi counties carried by Republican Sen. Thad Cochran and Democratic challenger Travis Childers in Tuesday’s general election:   COCHRAN (58 counties) Adams, Alcorn, Amite, Attala, Calhoun, Carroll, Choctaw, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Grenada, Hancock, Harrison, Issaquena, Itawamba, Jackson, Jones, Lafayette, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lee, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, ...

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