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BILL CRAWFORD — Bryant should veto dark money bill

“Transparency is critical to fair government,” Gov. Phil Bryant, a longtime champion of transparency and accountability in government, once said. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann also promoted transparency when he proposed revamping Mississippi election laws in 2016. As WTOK-TV in Meridian reported: “Who’s dealing out money to candidates? And which ones are taking it? The Mississippi Secretary of State intends ...

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Swooning film industry awaits outcome of incentive revival effort

By JACK WEATHERLY The movie industry in Mississippi has dropped precipitously since a key incentive was allowed to sunset on July 1, 2017. But legislation to restore that incentive – a cash rebate of 25 percent of the payroll for out-of-state cast and crew members – has made it to the final stages of approval with strong support in both ...

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Bill passes to cut suits against Mississippi property owners

A bill that would make it harder for people to sue Mississippi property owners for some injuries is headed to Gov. Phil Bryant for his signature or veto. The state Senate on Tuesday voted 31-21 to concur with changes that the House made to Senate Bill 2901 . The measure, known as the Landowners Protection Act, has been a top ...

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Mississippi: No state regulation for some pre-packaged food

A new Mississippi law says the state Department of Agriculture will not regulate vending machines or “micro markets” that sell prepackaged foods. Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1206 on Tuesday, and it becomes law July 1. The bill defines “micro markets” as unattended self-checkout establishments that sell food in tamper-resistant packaging. The markets are inside buildings and have limited ...

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Mississippi lottery could start selling tickets in late 2019

The new Mississippi Lottery could start selling tickets sometime during the final half of this year, a board member for the Mississippi Lottery Corporation said Monday. Gerard Gibert told The Associated Press that the board in recent weeks has hired the Balch & Bingham law firm, which has offices in Mississippi and other states. He said the board will soon ...

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Mississippi to build facility for medically fragile children

A new law says Mississippi can borrow money to build a long-term care facility for children with complex medical conditions. Gov. Phil Bryant on Monday signed House Bill 1160 , which authorizes the state to issue up to $12.5 million in bonds to finance the facility in east Jackson. Lawmakers said it will provide a home-like setting for a small ...

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Analysis: Mississippi lawmakers seek early exit to session

Mississippi lawmakers are aiming for an early end to their scheduled 90-day session. This is the fourth and final year of the current term, and most members of the House and Senate are seeking re-election. Finishing early gives all representatives and senators more time with their families and their other jobs (legislating is a part-time gig, after all). And an ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Does pro-life Mississippi let people die or help them live?

Is Mississippi only pro-life when it’s easy? Or are we pro-life when it’s hard too? I am led to ask these questions by two occurrences discussed below. (Too many similar tragedies and uncaring attitudes occur across our state.) This first one was profiled in the Clarion-Ledger last week. “A woman died after suffering a simple asthma attack,” read the headline. ...

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Analysis: Lawyers urged for parents in foster care cases

It sounds counterintuitive. But Mississippi officials say parents who are about to lose their children to child welfare authorities do better when they’re represented by lawyers in youth court. So officials are asking for more state money to pay for more lawyers. Supporters of the plan, including state Supreme Court Justice Dawn Beam and Child Protective Services Commissioner Jess Dickinson, ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Hospitals closing and healthcare for working poor becoming campaign issues

“Half of Mississippi’s rural hospitals at risk of closing, report says,” read the startling headline in Mississippi Today. “Thirty-one of Mississippi’s 64 rural hospitals, or 48 percent, are at ‘high financial risk,’ according to a national report of rural hospitals from independent consulting firm Navigant,” read the article. Perhaps even more startling was this from an article in News Mississippi: ...

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