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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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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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Lawmakers advance pay raise for Mississippi county officials

A proposed pay raise for many elected county officials in Mississippi is advancing. The House voted 93-14 on Wednesday for Senate Bill 2827 , which would be financed by increased fees for filing government documents and court cases. The Senate and House must resolve differences before the measure goes to the governor. Pay for county supervisors would increase by $10,000 ...

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Arkansas governor backs removing Confederate link to flag

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas’ governor on Monday backed an effort to change the meaning of a star on the state flag that honors the Confederacy to instead have it acknowledge Native Americans’ contributions to the state. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson told The Associated Press that he’d support the proposal to change state law regarding Arkansas’ flag if it comes ...

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Analysis: Mississippi will see big turnover of state offices

Mississippi this year will have its biggest shake-up of statewide offices in a generation, no matter who wins in November. Five of the eight current statewide elected officials are not seeking re-election, so there are open races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer. That’s a contrast to 2015, when all eight statewide officials were re-elected. ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: The new Republican reality: Debt, debt, and more debt

“The national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time,” reported the Associated Press. “The Treasury Department’s daily statement showed Tuesday that total outstanding public debt stands at $22.01 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017.” “It looks like a $9 trillion time bomb is ready ...

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