Governor’s veto likely to cause Republican division over civil service reform.


  

If legislative leaders attempt to override the veto of Republican Gov. Phil Bryant on at least one piece of legislation, he will have the backing of an unusual group – legislative Democrats.

Earlier this month, the governor vetoed a bill to take the state Department of Education out from under the regulations of the Mississippi Personnel Board.

The effort to remove Personnel Board protection, or civil service protection, for state workers has been an ongoing battle for more than a decade in the Mississippi Legislature.

Republicans have sought to remove the civil service protection for at least a brief period to provide agencies the opportunity “to right size,” which they say is difficult to do under burdensome Personnel Board regulations.

Democrats have countered that civil service protection is crucial to prevent politicians, for instance, from firing employees without good cause and replacing them with their supporters. Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, has long argued that the governing body of the Personnel Board is composed of people appointed by Republican governors. So, if it is difficult for agencies to reorganize and to fire bad employees, then those Republican appointees have the authority to ease the regulations or at least come to the Legislature to ask for changes in law to make it easier to make changes within the guidelines of the Personnel Board.

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The Explanation For Our Difficulties


BY: Oswald Chambers


…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us… —John 17:21

If you are going through a time of isolation, seemingly all alone, read John 17 . It will explain exactly why you are where you are— because Jesus has prayed that you “may be one” with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or do you have some other goal for your life? Since you became a disciple, you cannot be as independent as you used to be.

God reveals in John 17 that His purpose is not just to answer our prayers, but that through prayer we might come to discern His mind. Yet there is one prayer which God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22). Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?

God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn’t ask, “Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?” No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy. If we will pray, regarding our own lives, “Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42), then we will be encouraged and comforted by John 17, knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom, accomplishing what is best. When we understand God’s purpose, we will not become small-minded and cynical. Jesus prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself, just as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far from this oneness; yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him— because Jesus prayed, “…that they all may be one….”

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HEYER: New “gender defiant” diminish LGBT movement. 



BY: Walt Heyer

Walt Heyer is an author and public speaker. Through his website, SexChangeRegret.com, and his blog, WaltHeyer.com, Heyer raises public awareness about those who regret gender change and the tragic consequences suffered as a result.

As someone who underwent surgery from male to female and lived as a female for eight years before returning to living as a man, I know firsthand what it’s like to be a transgender person—and how misguided it is to think one can change gender through hormones and surgery.

And I know that the North Carolina bill and others like it are not anti-LGBT.

“L” is for lesbian. The bill is not anti-lesbian because lesbians have no desire to enter a stinky men’s restroom. Lesbians will use the women’s room without a second thought. So the law is not anti-L.

“G” is for gay. Gay men have no interest in using women’s bathrooms. So the law is not anti-G.

“B” is for bi-sexual. The “B” in the LGBT have never been confused about their gender. Theirs is also a sexual preference only that doesn’t affect choice of restroom or locker room.

“T” is for transgender. The “T” identifies a person who has undergone hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery, and legally changes the gender marker on his or her birth certificate.

The North Carolina law is not anti-T because the law clearly states that the appropriate restroom is the one that corresponds to the gender stated on the birth certificate. Therefore, a transgender person with a birth certificate that reads “female” uses the female restroom, even if the gender noted at birth was male.

So, you see, the law is not anti-LGBT. What then is all the uproar about?

What has arisen is a new breed emerging among young people that falls outside the purview of the LGBT: the gender nonconformists.

Gender nonconformists, who constitute a miniscule fraction of society, want to be allowed to designate gender on a fluid basis, based on their feelings at the moment.

I call this group “gender defiant” because they protest against the definition of fixed gender identities of male and female. The gender defiant individuals are not like traditional transgender or transsexual persons who struggle with gender dysphoria and want hormone therapy, hormone blockers, and eventually, reassignment surgery. The gender defiant group doesn’t want to conform, comply, or identify with traditional gender norms of male and female. They want to have gender fluidity, flowing freely from one gender to another, by the hour or day, as they feel like it.

Under the cover of the LGBT, the anti-gender faction and its supporters are using the North Carolina bathroom bill to light a fuse to blow up factual gender definitions.

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DALLAS: Public education is about more than racial balance. 


BY: David Dallas

Even before integration, there was a big push for public school consolidation. During the Cold War years, the Soviets were doing it and the nation feared falling behind in the “education race.” There was also an economy of scales argument which is still being used today. But when it comes to public school expenditures, recent studies have shown that per pupil costs begin to rise when districts begin to exceed certain numbers. Even adjusting for inflation, it cost nearly 10 times more to educate a public school student today than it did in the 1940’s. And that’s not all teachers’ salaries.

Overwhelming evidence also suggests students in small schools achieve higher levels of academic success than their peers at larger schools. This is especially true for disadvantaged students and in Mississippi many of our public school students suffer from a host of disadvantages.

Our public education problem is about more than racial equality now. It is about educational and economic opportunity for all of our citizens. The real strength of our nation can only be measured by our weakest link. If even one child falls through the cracks, ending up neglected, their very spirit destroyed by a poor public education system, it is our nationally shared failure.

It might have been better if we had attempted to integrate our public schools gradually starting with the first grade and moving up each year with a group of students and their families growing to know and care for one another. A group of leaders from the Delta pleaded for such an arrangement with the Justice Department before 1970. They were denied and as a result many whites fled the pubic school system and the Delta entirely.

The Justice Department’s intentions for swift and immediate integration may have been good, but we all know how you pave the road to hell.

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Columbus mayor fined for open meetings violation



The state Ethics Commission has imposed a $500 fine on Columbus Mayor Robert Smith after finding that he violated a Mississippi Open Meetings Act last year.

The Commercial Dispatch reports the penalty stems from a complaint the newspaper sent to the commission last year after Smith sent a letter to the president of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors regarding the operation and management of a firing range.

Smith said in the letter that he had “discussed this matter with each” councilman and that he and the council proposed that the city maintain the range and bill the county for half the costs.

The Dispatch alleged that city leaders, by not discussing the matter in a public meeting, violated the state’s Open Meetings Act.

The commission, in a preliminary report Monday, agreed.

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Superintendent Wright backs down from Obama transgender order after state officials voice opposition. 


  

State Superintendent Carey Wright made the announcement Wednesday in a brief statement, saying the department would “follow the lead of state leadership” and take no action until the state Board of Education discusses the situation.

Mississippi education officials had said Friday they would follow the guidance by federal authorities calling for transgender students to be treated consistently with their gender identity. They cited a need for a “safe and caring school environment.”

The move comes as Republicans in other states have opposed the guidance, with some seeking to join legal challenges. In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam questioned the need for a special legislative session to block it, as some lawmakers have proposed. North Carolina’s GOP chairman called on Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper to clarify his position on the guidance. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican lawmakers in Arkansas also issued fresh criticisms.

The guidance isn’t legally binding. Courts haven’t definitively said whether federal civil rights laws protect transgender people. But schools that refuse to comply could lose federal education aid and face civil rights lawsuits from the government.

Mississippi’s K-12 schools got more than $700 million in federal aid in the 2014-2015 school year. Federal dollars make up more than 30 percent of the budgets of districts serving the state’s poorest populations.

State Board of Education Chairman John Kelly said the board will have a special meeting within the next two weeks to discuss the issue.

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Mississippi Senate leader Burton charged with DUI


  

The second-ranking leader of the Mississippi Senate has been charged with DUI after a one-vehicle wreck.

Republican Sen. Terry Burton of Newton was charged after running a sport utility vehicle off of Interstate 20 and hitting a sign Saturday night in Scott County. That’s according to a statement Monday from a Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman, Capt. Johnny Poulos.

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