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Tag Archives: lawmaker

Preschool bills clear committees in both state houses

JACKSON — Plans for Mississippi to fund voluntary preschool are sprinting out of committees. House and Senate Education committees endorsed separate measures to set up classes for four-year-old children. The bills move to the full chambers for more debate. Both House Bill 781 and Senate Bill 2395 call for local groups to set up consortiums between public schools, Head Start ...

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Medicaid debate highlights divide in Legislature

JACKSON — Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature say they’re trying to preserve the option of expanding Medicaid in the state, even though Gov. Phil Bryant and other Republican leaders oppose adding hundreds of thousands more people to the government health insurance for the poor. The Democrats’ votes helped kill a bill yesterday that would keep the existing Medicaid program in ...

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Animal rights group want cockfighting made a felony

JACKSON — Cockfighting is big business because Mississippi has the second weakest cockfighting law in the nation, according to Humane Society of the United States. John Goodwin, HSUS’ director of animal cruelty policy, said Mississippi lawmakers should make the illegal, underground sport a felony. “This cruel blood sport is wide and pervasive in various nooks and crannies around the state ...

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Legislators pushing for bonds to cover Kemper plant costs

KEMPER COUNTY — Lawmakers are advancing a proposal to let Mississippi Power Co. sell bonds to cover expenses above $2.4 billion at the Kemper County power plant it’s building. They also want to allow the Mississippi Public Service Commission to approve a multi-year rate plan, to prevent a rate spike when the plant begins operation. The House Public Utilities Committee ...

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House votes to block public access to gun permit info

JACKSON — The Mississippi House has voted to block public access to information about state-issued permits for people to carry concealed weapons. House Bill 485, backed by the National Rifle Association, passed 101-18. It moves for more debate in the Senate, where a similar bill has been filed. The House bill’s sponsor is Republican Mark Baker of Brandon, who chairs ...

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Auditor says he can't approve education program

JACKSON — Mississippi Auditor Stacey Pickering is calling on lawmakers to write new, stricter rules on computing how much state money goes to local schools. The Republican told the House Appropriations Committee he can’t approve the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula, as required by law, because his office has found unreliable numbers on attendance, students receiving free lunch and other ...

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Cochran's disaster recovery bill heads to White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate has approved legislation that includes provisions coauthored by U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) to improve the ability of the federal government to help states and communities recover from major disasters. The provisions, authored by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Cochran, are part of the disaster supplemental appropriations package (HR.152) approved by the Senate to address ...

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State lawmakers file bill to nullify federal law

JACKSON — Mississippi defied the union during the Civil War and civil rights era, and at least two lawmakers think it is time to do so again. Republican state Reps. Gary Chism and Jeff Smith, both of Columbus, filed a bill this month to form the Joint Legislative Committee on the Neutralization of Federal Laws. Chism said yesterday the tea ...

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Committee approves funding for new UMMC facility

JACKSON — Lawmakers are moving toward borrowing money to allow the University of Mississippi to construct a new medical school building. The House Appropriations Committee voted unanimously for House Bill 610, which would issue $31 million in bonds for a new five-story building on the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus in Jackson. Officials said the project’s price tag has ...

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