in 2012, the Mississippi House Management Committee voted to pay Democrat Rep. Billy Broomfield’s expenses to a 2012 Southern Legislative Conference in Charleston, West Virginia after another black Democrat warned that Black Caucus members could obstruct business in the 2013 legislative session over the denial.
“I think you need to go ahead and let him go down there,” Credell Calhoun, D-Jackson, told the committee. “It will make the next session much smoother if we go ahead and do this.”
House Democrats released a statement on the issue on May 2, 2012 in an attempt to make political hay. Broomfield, D-Moss Point, also criticized Speaker Philip Gunn from the floor after House and Senate leaders declined to contribute $800,000 in state money to host the conference in Biloxi in 2013. Instead, the meeting is scheduled for Mobile, Alabama next month.
Broomfield was in line to be the 2013 leader for the group, which provides educational opportunities for lawmakers from 15 southern states.
Gunn did not appoint Broomfield as a delegate to the conference. That meant without the vote, the House would not automatically pay for him to attend. Broomfield is now the Mayor-Elect of Moss Point.
I’ve heard Republican power brokers are already working on a fairly complicated contingency plan involving multiple appointments that could end with a South Mississippian in the lieutenant governor’s office if Cochran steps down before his term ends. Gov. Phil Bryant would appoint Cochran’s replacement until an election could be held.
Bryant could choose Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves for Cochran’s seat. There’s friction between the Bryant and Reeves camps at the Capitol and the move would get Reeves out of the state Senate, clearing the way for Bryant to appoint his own lieutenant governor. The guv’nah would then have a full-time legislative water carrier who could settle in as an incumbent before running for election.
Word around the campfire is it’s likely he’d go with one of two Coastians to replace Reeves. This would be major, given
Coast candidates have historically fared very poorly in statewide elections.
Bryant’s top choice may be State Sen. Michael Watson, R-Pascagoula, a staunch Bryant loyalist who had been rising fast after taking office in 2008, but has seen his influence diminish substantially during the Reeves regime because of drama between the two camps.
If not Watson, things would get a little weirder.
Bryant could appoint former State Sen. Billy Hewes, Gulfport’s next mayor, who was Bryant’s pro tem when Bryant was lieutenant governor.
Hewes lost his 2011 bid to become lieutenant governor when Reeves beat him in the Republican primary. But he’s also a seasoned politician with connections forged during a 20-year stint in the Legislature.
Filed under Billy Hewes, Congress, contributor, Governor, Gulf Coast, Legislature, Michael Watson, Mississippi, Mississippi State Senate, Opinion, Phil Bryant, Politics, Public Service, Republican, State Government, Tate Reeves
Senator Melanie Sojourner represents District 37 in the Mississippi Senate and is a member of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. She joins Managing Editor Keith Plunkett at the State Capitol to discuss the Medicaid crisis in Mississippi
The state Senate’s Ports and Marine Resources Committee is continuing rounds Thursday to visit coastal ports, committee chairman Sen. Brice Wiggins said.
Wednesday the group visited Bienville Port in Hancock County and the state Port of Gulfport.
Thursday morning, they will be in Jackson County to tour the Port of Pascagoula.
Two members from the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Harbors and Airports will also be in attendance, as well as members of the Pascagoula Bar Pilots Association and representatives of Signet Maritime.
The visiting legislators will view activities at the public and private marine terminals and shipbuilding operations, which are responsible for more than 18,000 direct jobs, more than $1.4 billion in earnings and $1 billion in tax revenues annually.
Legislators on the tour include Sens. Brice Wiggins, Josh Harkins, Tommy Gollott, Philip Moran, John Polk and Michael Watson. Reps. Sonya Williams-Barnes and Larry Byrd are also expected to attend.
Filed under Economic Development, Gulf Coast, John Polk, Josh Harkins, Larry Byrd, Legislature, Michael Watson, Mississippi, Mississippi State House, Mississippi State Senate, Politics, Public Service, State Government, Transportation
, member of the United States Senate from Mississippi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Despite Sen. Roger Wicker’s explanation regarding his vote to end a filibuster in the US Senate, he continues to take considerable heat here at home.
Wicker released a statement yesterday saying he voted to end the filibuster because he supports a vote that would put all Senators on record regarding the Second Amendment.
“I have never voted for gun control and will not do so. This begins a debate to put the Senate on record about a basic constitutional freedom.”
Many of the comments on Facebook regarding Wicker’s vote center around the opinion that the Second Amendment should never be up for debate.
We want to hear from you on this. What do you think?
Speaker Gunn did show on one central issue in this session a bit more flexibility than is often the case these days in our polarized legislative bodies. He wanted a broader, more sweeping charter school bill than the Legislature eventually approved. But he gauged the membership and knew what was possible.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and the Senate wanted more than the House was willing to give. Gunn made the matter a simple choice: Do you want to get something passed, or do want to go down in flames with your purity of purpose intact?
Lawmaking is about compromise and consensus, the speaker preached – a sentiment that used to be self-evident but that has given way to insistence on all-or-nothing in so many circumstances.
Gunn was insistent that the charter school legislation that emerged from House-Senate negotiations could actually pass the House. That meant he and other charter school supporters didn’t get everything they wanted, but they got much more than they would have otherwise. Legislative compromise – what a concept.
Filed under charter schools, Education, Legislature, Mississippi, Mississippi State House, Mississippi State Senate, Opinion, Philip Gunn, Politics, Public Service, Republican, State Government, Tate Reeves
Former state Sen. Doug Davis of Hernando, a Mississippi PEP contributor, has been approved by the Senate to the Mississippi Parole Board.
Davis began his new job in late January after his appointment by Gov. Phil Bryant.
Congratulations to Doug from all of your cohorts at Mississippi PEP. We hope you never have to see us in an official capacity!
Filed under contributor, Doug Davis, Law Enforcement, Legislature, MDOC, Mississippi, Mississippi State Senate, Phil Bryant, Politics, Public Safety, Republican, State Government
Mississippi lawmakers are rejecting a plan to raise fees on loans between $500 and $4,000.
On a voice vote Wednesday, House members rejected Senate Bill 2571, with opponents saying it was immoral to raise interest rates on hard-up borrowers.
House members technically sent the bill back for more negotiations, but senators didn’t act, killing the bill.
A Mississippi Senate committee has voted unanimously to recommend the confirmation of Jamie Miller of Gulfport as director of the state Department of Marine Resources.
The full Senate will consider the nomination soon, possibly as early as Wednesday. Confirmation takes a majority of the 52 senators.
Committee members spent about an hour Wednesday morning quizzing Miller about how he’ll manage the agency that has had financial problems in recent months.