MS GOP: Governor Bryant and State of Mississippi Receive Prestigious Education Innovation Award



Governor Phil Bryant and the state of Mississippi have received the Frank Newman Award for Education Innovation. The state of Mississippi and its leader, Governor Bryant, were nominated to be the recipient of the award by the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) for the tremendous steps taken in educational improvements for the students of Mississippi and the implementation of polices impacting young Mississippians.

“Using innovation to modernize Mississippi’s education system has been a priority since I took office,” Governor Bryant said. “The reforms we’ve enacted are working, and I am grateful to ExcelinEd and the Education Commission of the States for recognizing Mississippi as a leader in revolutionizing public education.”

“Ever since I began working with the Governor years ago, he has always been passionate about education reform and doing everything he could to help the students in our state,” said MSGOP Chairman Joe Nosef. “This is a tremendous honor for our Governor, our Republican leadership, and the state of Mississippi to be recognized for revolutionizing our educational system and expanding opportunities for students.”

The Frank Newman Award was accepted by Laurie Smith, Ph.D., Education Policy Advisor to Governor Phil Bryant, on June 29, 2016 on the Governor’s behalf.

MSGOP Press Release

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Ten new MS laws that take effect Friday.


  

Ten new state laws passed by the legislature will go into effect tomorrow, July 1 in Mississippi. Here’s a brief look at each as reported by the AP.

1. APPOINTED SUPERINTENDENTS – SB 2438 (http://bit.ly/1RpuTs3 ) requires all school superintendents to be appointed, beginning in 2019. Those elected in 2015 will serve their current four-year terms.

2. ACHIEVEMENT SCHOOL DISTRICT – HB 989 (http://bit.ly/1p25v2d ) creates a statewide school district that would take control of poorly performing school districts or individual schools. The first schools could be taken over in 2017.

3. CHARTER SCHOOLS – SB 2161 (http://bit.ly/1RxqDdc ) allows some students to attend charter schools outside their home districts.

4. JACKSON AIRPORT – SB 2162 (http://bit.ly/1RnU1x1 ) replaces the current five-member board appointed by Mayor Tony Yarber with a nine-member Jackson Metropolitan Airport Authority. State officials and two suburban counties would appoint a majority, but five of nine members would have to live in Jackson. City officials are backing a lawsuit that seeks to block the changes.

5. ABORTION – HB 519 (http://bit.ly/1PpUWLo ) outlaws a procedure called dilation and evacuation unless an abortion is required to prevent irreversible physical impairment to the pregnant woman. It prohibits abortions extracting a live fetus in pieces using instruments such as clamps and forceps.

6. PLANNED PARENTHOOD -SB 2238 (http://bit.ly/1o4A5XO ) blocks Medicaid from spending money with any health care provider that offers abortion. Records show that from July 2013 to August 2015, Mississippi Medicaid spent $439 with Planned Parenthood at a Hattiesburg clinic that offers birth control and cancer screenings but doesn’t do abortions. Planned Parenthood is suing the state to try to block the law.

7. HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES – HB 1151 (http://bit.ly/1UDy1UJ ) allows the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to raise the price of hunting and fishing licenses, requiring the money be used to hire and equip game wardens.

8. RIDE HAILING SERVICES – HB 1381 (http://bit.ly/29dwZNW ) creates statewide regulations to govern Uber, Lyft and other online ride-hailing services, overriding the ability of cities to regulate them.

9. CELL PHONE NO-CALL LIST – SB 2366 (http://bit.ly/29dxpUK ) adds cellphones to the state’s no-call list for telemarketing.

10. BAIL AGENTS – SB 2664 (http://bit.ly/1WXfOPM ) puts additional regulations on bail bond companies.

What do you think about these new laws? Do you support all of them, some of them, none of them?

Let us hear what you think in the comments below.

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AG Hood attempts to plant seeds of doubt over state officials plans for $150 million in BP money due on Friday. 



Mississippi will get first $150 million from BP economic damages Friday, Attorney General Jim Hood said.

Hood also said he fears Mississippi lawmakers may try to balance the state budget with money from BP, something the Coast delegation, Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves all have said they oppose.

“After years of litigation and work to identify the economic damage caused by this catastrophe, we reached an agreement that would help to make our coastal communities whole again,” Hood said in a press release. “However, I am deeply concerned that the state’s legislative leaders may use this payment to try to cover up their self-created budget hole.”

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Feds pop BancorpSouth to the tune of $10.6 million for redlining in Memphis.


The Department of Justice and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Mississippi-based BancorpSouth $10.6 million, alleging the bank deliberately discriminated against minorities in its lending practices.

BancorpSouth, a medium-sized regional bank with $10.6 billion in assets, deliberately avoided building branches in minority neighborhoods in Memphis, Tennessee from at least 2011 to 2013. The bank also denied loans to African Americans and other minorities when compared to neighborhoods with smaller minority populations, the Justice Department and CFPB said, and those minorities who were given loans were given higher interest rates when compared to non-minorities.

While BancorpSouth is based in Tupelo, Mississippi, the case deals with BancorpSouth’s presence in Memphis. The bank had 22 branches in the Memphis area between 2011 and 2013, all of which were located outside neighborhoods with large minority populations. Maps provided by the regulators also showed nearly all BancorpSouth’s loans originated outside minority neighborhoods of Memphis as well.

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Democrats block budget provision in MS House forcing a return to Capitol.  


The Mississippi House will be back for a second day of special session Wednesday.

Senators passed a bill Tuesday to let Gov. Phil Bryant dip further into the state’s financial reserves to plug a hole in the state budget.

The House needed a two-thirds vote to consider the bill the same day it passed the Senate. But, Democrats blocked Republican leaders’ effort to get that majority.

Democratic lawmakers say Republican leaders have shut them out of the budget process and have been irresponsible with state spending.

Mississippi’s budget year ends at midnight Thursday.

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Former State Senator Tommy Robertson sentenced to 10 years for embezzlement. 


Former state Sen. Tommy Robertson was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison, with two years to serve, for embezzling $379,594 of a $484,000 construction loan that he was handling for a couple through Singing River Federal Credit Union.

Special Judge Richard McKenzie also ordered Robertson to serve eight years under post-release supervision, fined him $1,000 and ordered him to pay $60,000 in restitution.

District Attorney Tony Lawrence pointed out the restitution was less than expected because the bank received insurance money to cover a portion of the loss. In addition, he said, Robertson had also already paid about $16,000 of what was owed.

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Gov. Bryant calls special session to begin Tuesday morning. 



Gov. Phil Bryant has issued a call for a special legislative session to deal with a shortfall in Mississippi’s 2016 budget.

The governor’s office said in a news release Monday the special session will start at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The call contains one item: legislation authorizing the governor to transfer money from the state’s rainy day fund into the general fund to cover the 2016 budget deficit.

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