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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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Mississippi governor giving final State of the State speech

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is outlining policy priorities for his eighth and final year in office. The Republican is giving his State of the State speech Tuesday evening at the state Capitol. Bryant is limited to two terms and cannot seek re-election this year. Mississippi governors typically use the State of the State speech to reflect on the economy, education, ...

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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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Henry appointed to Workers’ Compensation Commission

Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed Mark Henry to a six-year term on the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, replacing Thomas A. Webb, whose term expired. Henry is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES). The Commission reviews decisions made by administrative law judges, decides certain medical fee disputes, and regulates individual and group self-insurers. Henry was appointed ...

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Ely appointed assistant chief engineer at MDOT

Jeff Ely has been appointed assistant chief engineer – Preconstruction of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). In his new role, Ely will oversee and coordinate the work of MDOT’s Bridge, Roadway Design, Planning, Right of Way and Environmental divisions. All planning and design activities, as well as right of way acquisition and environmental considerations, are handled during the pre-construction ...

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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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BILL CRAWFORD: Is Mississippi in its best financial shape ever?

State revenue collections are running ahead of target. The state rainy day fund and other reserves are full of cash. Agency budget cuts appear to be behind us. Pointing to all this, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said “Mississippi is in our best financial and fiscal shape in our history.” Speaker of the House Philip Gunn chimed in saying, “This is ...

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