WJTV – GOP gubernatorial candidates agree to primary debate on WJTV

WLOX – Mississippi DMVs to offer weekend tests, scheduled appointments, and more in effort to speed things up

Lots of people wait for service at the MHP Troop K station.DPS Commissioner Marshall Fisher said it’s a top priority for his office to address concerns from citizens, including the hours-long wait times many driver service bureaus are seeing throughout Mississippi.

Right now, a trip to any Mississippi Driver’s License Bureau can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.

“It’s no secret that we’ve had some issues in our stations,” said Maj. Ken Brown, Director of the Driver Service Bureau.



Multiple plans are being implemented to shorten lines and speed up wait times, including a program aimed at parents to help get their teenagers in and out quicker and during a more convenient time. The program – dubbed JumpStart – will allow students 15 years and older to schedule Saturday appointments for written and road tests, as well as allow them to receive a driver’s license.

WLBT – Proposed changes to Medicaid State Plan questioned by Mississippi Hospital Association

Proposed change to Medicaid State Plan questioned by Mississippi Hospital Assocation

The Mississippi Division of Medicaid is proposing to do away with the Medicare Crossover Payments, and the state Hospital Association is saying that could put hospitals and patients in jeopardy.

Some patients are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid – typically low-income elderly and disabled individuals. Medicare pays part of their bill and Medicaid fills in the gap. But the Mississippi Division of Medicaid wants to end those crossover payments.

“And it will actually be decreasing reimbursements to providers by $32 million,” explained The Mississippi Hospital Association President/CEO Timothy Moore.



Mississippi Hospital Association is asking Medicaid to withdraw its proposal. First reason, they say it violates state law.

Reeves releases new ad for Governor on family

 

WCBI – Volunteer army sought to help crack down on illegal telemarketers

Dishonest telemarketers are the target of a unique initiative by Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

The Northern District Commissioner said he wants to enlist the public’s help to hold unscrupulous companies accountable…

…“We are asking citizens that are interested in going a couple of steps further, helping with our investigations, almost becoming a reserve investigator for us,” said Presley.

While Presley said it’s good for people to report phone numbers of illegal robo calls, he believes an army of volunteers, trained to ask specific questions and gather valuable information, could make a big difference.

MS US Senators introduce Forest Recovery Act

 

Congressman Palazzo joins in introducing National Guard, Reserve bils

 

CLARION LEDGER – Jackson is the most politically segregated metro area in the US

Jackson is the most politically segregated metro area in the country, a new analysis finds.The Jackson metro is more politically polarized than any other large urban area in the country, a new analysis finds.

Research by FiveThirtyEight, a politics and data news site, found the capital city’s political segregation — Democrats living next to Democrats, Republicans by Republicans — is more pronounced than any other major city. The website used 2016 election results to determine its rankings.

Nine of the top-10 most politically polarized are in the South. Politically segregated cities tended to have higher proportions of black residents.

NEWSMS – Rep. Thompson co-authors bill to assist rural hospitals

As nearly half of Mississippi’s rural hospitals remain in danger of closing, Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Mark Green (R-TN) have introduced the ‘Rural Health Care Access Act of 2019’. 

The bipartisan legislation would repeal a rule called the “the 35-mile rule” that bars certain hospitals from pursuing a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation. 

In a news release, Thompson called the rule “arcane” and explained that a rural hospital must currently be at least 35 miles away from another hospital to receive the CAH designation. If passed into law, this bill would allow states to designate a facility a CAH if it meets all the other requirements. Those requirements include:

  • The hospital must have 25 or fewer acute care inpatient beds
  • Must provide 24/7 emergency care services
  • The average length of stay for acute care patients must be 96 hours or less 

MBJ – Bill Crawford: Study shows rural Mississippi drifting into distress

“What was once a country of disparate places that converged towards prosperity is now a country of places drifting further apart,” reports the bipartisan Economic Innovation Group (EIG). Rural areas are the most impacted.

This study corroborates my earlier column that population trends suggest declining prosperity in Mississippi’s rural counties.

The EIG study found population increasing in the better off counties while it was declining in the worse off counties. Population, however, was not used as a measure. The study used these criteria: 1) percent adult population with no high school diploma; 2) housing vacancy rate; 3) percent working age adults not working; 4) poverty rate; 5) ratio of county income over state income; 6) change in number of jobs; 7) change in number of businesses.

From these criteria, EIG performed a county-by-county comparison using two distinct time periods, 2007-2011 and 2012-2016.

What the study showed was a “great reshuffling” following the Great Recession.

GULFLIVE – Prepared food tax referendum fails in Moss Point

Citizens of Moss Point declined the proposed two percent food and beverage tax that would've potentially brought $400,000 of additional revenue to the city.Residents in Moss Point voted against the proposed two percent food and beverage tax referendum that would have likely brought a projected $400,000 in additional revenue to the city’s recreation department.

According to Mayor Mario King, only 937 people showed up to the polls to vote.

“It is very unfortunate, however, this is really telling about our community,” King said. “We only had 937 people to vote out of 10,386 eligible voters in our community. That is only nine percent voter turnout for the City of Moss Point today. These are things we need to overcome and really look at in our community.”