Gov. Bryant appeals ruling on Religious Liberty law. 

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Thursday filed a notice that he will be appealing the federal judge’s ruling that stopped implementation and enforcement of the state’s recently passed religious exemption law.

Bryant also filed papers Thursday asking the judge, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves, to put the preliminary injunction on hold during his appeal of the ruling.

The filings are signed by Bryant’s chief counsel, Drew Snyder, who entered a formal appearance as Bryant’s counsel on Thursday. The fillings suggest an apparent split with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, whose office — as recently as a Wednesday filing — had been representing the governor in the litigation.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

State Sen. Chris Massey arrested on assault charges. 

UPDATE: WREG has updated their original report:

“Preliminary information suggested a local gardener was working in a subdivision when he was trying to get to a lawn to mow the lawn.

“According to the man Senator Massey’s truck was blocking the roadway, but he refused to move it.

“Words were exchanged and that’s when Massey allegedly pulled out a shovel.”

WREG reports that Mississippi lawmaker Senator Chris Massey has been arrested on assault charges in Olive Branch.

The Olive Branch Police Department confirmed they are processing Senator Chris Massey on charges of felony aggravated assault.

His bond was set at $10,000.

Geoff Pender at the Clarion Ledger reports Massey was arrested after “a fight with two other men in which Sen. Massey allegedly assaulted the men with a shovel.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Consolidation Commission meets to discuss dissolution of 3 school districts in Chickasaw County. 


A nine-member commission brought together to determine how the Legislature should create a united Chickasaw Consolidated School District met Wednesday with state leaders and cleared “a big hurdle” in the overall process, according to state leaders.

Members of the commission met Tuesday in Houlka with leaders from the state to offer input on how the Mississippi Legislature should dissolve Houston, Okolona and Houlka school districts and reconstitute them as a united Chickasaw Consolidated School District, as well as to determine how consolidated school board members would be chosen. It was not an easy decision for commission members.

“I think this was a big hurdle for this commission,” said Mike Kent, Mississippi Department of Education Deputy State Superintendent and Chickasaw Consolidation Commission Chairman. “Determining how this community wants to select the people who will direct a new consolidated school district was a very big decision. We covered a lot of ground today. I am pleased.”

This spring, the Mississippi Legislature demanded a study be completed on whether Houston, Okolona and Houlka should consolidate their central offices, superintendents and ancillary services under a newly formed Chickasaw Consolidated School District as outlined in Senate Bill 991.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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 ( ) 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 ( ) 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 ( ) allows some students to attend charter schools outside their home districts.

4. JACKSON AIRPORT – SB 2162 ( ) 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 ( ) 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 ( ) 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 ( ) 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 ( ) 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 ( ) adds cellphones to the state’s no-call list for telemarketing.

10. BAIL AGENTS – SB 2664 ( ) 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.


Filed under Uncategorized

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.”


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized