WLOX – MS lawmakers agree on $6 billion state budget

Mississippi is set to spend more money on education, health programs and foster care in the budget year, which begins July 1.

Negotiators from the state House and Senate have agreed on most details of a roughly $6 billion state budget. They filed budget bills for most state agencies Saturday night.

WTVA – LEADERS: NO AGREEMENT ON MORE MONEY FOR MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAYS

Republicans leaders in the Mississippi House and Senate say they don’t expect to agree on a comprehensive plan to put more money into highways this legislative session.



However, they say a bond bill could include money to replace some local bridges. The deadline for filing budget and bond bills is Saturday night.

Budget writers met Friday and slightly increased the estimate amount of money the state will be able to spend during the fiscal year that ends June 30, and during fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1.

Welcome home, Thad

WJTV – Cochran delivers final vote along with hundreds of millions in funding for Mississippi

In the last vote of his career US Senator Thad Cochran delivered hundreds of millions in funding and an Omnibus Approprations bill with the largest defense funding increase in fifteen years.



FY2018 Ominbus Appropriations Act (HR 1625) completes the federal funding cycle for the year. It passed 65-32. The legislation includes 12 of the annual appropriations bill and awaits the President’s signature.

WTVA – HYDE-SMITH VISITS TUPELO AS INCOMING U.S. SENATOR

CLARION LEDGER – Roger Wicker questions which race Chris McDaniel’s in; McDaniel says paperwork coming

“There’s no conspiracy, I promise,” McDaniel said Saturday as state lawmakers worked on “budget weekend.” McDaniel said he intends, schedule permitting, to submit his formal letter withdrawing from the race against Wicker to the state Republican Party on Monday.

“I can see they may be thinking something is up,” McDaniel said, in reference to the charged political atmosphere for the midterms in Mississippi. “But I am in for the open (Sen. Thad Cochran) seat. I just have to finish drafting this letter and plan to get it over there sometime Monday … (Wicker’s campaign) is welcome to call me if they have questions like that.”

 

Andy Taggart: Why is GOP establishment worried I’d split the vote?

 

Democrat state reps, US Senate/Congressional candidates attend gun control march in Gulfport

 

WTVA – BRYANT, HOSEMANN ADDRESS POLITICAL MATTERS

Bryant was asked the status of his search to find a new agriculture commissioner since he appointed Cindy Hyde-Smith to serve as interim U.S. senator with Thad Cochran stepping down April 1.

“There are many people around the state — one here today that I talked to — that have the capabilities managing a very important department like Agriculture and Commerce,” said Bryant. “But we’ll make that decision latter part of this week or probably early next week.”

Hosemann was asked which office he plans to run for since the Republican has announced he will not seek another term as secretary of state.

“We got the federal elections this year,” said Hosemann. “We got two senators — first time in a long time, almost ever. We got two senators. All our congressmen are getting elected. Some judges. So I think we’ll let all of that settle. People got plenty to pay attention to this year on who they’re going to elect federally.”

DAILY JOURNAL – Managed care fight stalls Medicaid budget bill

The Mississippi House refused Sunday afternoon to pass the budget bill to fund the Division of Medicaid, fearing that if it did the Senate leadership would not negotiate on another bill on possible changes to Medicaid’s managed care program.

The fight over Medicaid, which provides health care coverage to about 700,000 Mississippians, primarily the disabled, poor pregnant women, poor children and the poor elderly population, occurred as House and Senate leaders worked late Sunday to finalize an overall $6.1 billion state support budget before a Monday night deadline.

The disagreement centers around whether the Mississippi Hospital Association should be awarded a contract to operate a managed care company for Medicaid recipients. Currently, three private, for-profit companies have the contracts, totaling more than $2 billion, to operate managed care programs where the companies receive a specified amount of money to provide health care for the Medicaid recipients.

WLOX – Educators and lawmakers push for a move away from state testing

Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There’s a growing push to scrap the state’s four subject area tests in favor or the ACT…

…One Representative asked what the cut score would be if the ACT was given in place of the current tests.

The answer, there wouldn’t be one.

Here’s why.

“The federal law says they have to take these tests to measure how their growth is in these areas,” described Rep. Tom Miles-D. “It doesn’t say they actually have to pass them. That’s something that the Mississippi Department of Education and the state of Mississippi are putting on our students.”

DAILY JOURNAL – Mississippi House on board to join movement to amend U.S. Constitution

With a 76-42 vote, the House passed a resolution that calls for a convention of the states to pass amendments to the constitution that limit the power of the federal government.

Article V of the constitution states the document can be altered if Congress agrees with a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, or if two-thirds of the country’s state legislatures call for a convention to put forth amendments.

Representative Dan Eubanks, R-Walls, presented the latter option Thursday. House Concurrent Resolution 56 calls for a convention to address the federal government’s “crushing national debt” created through “improper and imprudent spending.”

WLBT – MS Attorney General sends letter to Facebook

MSNewsNow.com – Jackson, MS

DAILY JOURNAL – RRC to honor Steve Holland with Rasberry Award

Steve Holland frequently invokes the late John “Red” Rasberry’s catch phrase “Thanks to God and the good people of Lee County.”

On April 17, the long-time state representative from Plantersville will be honored with the annual Red Rasberry Humanitarian Award for his contributions at the annual awards dinner benefiting the Regional Rehabilitation Center, which provides physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as early intervention and dyslexia services free of charge to children and adults.