Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup.
YP – Atheists sue Mississippi over “In God We Trust” license plates
According to American Atheists, they have filed a lawsuit against Mississippi over the state’s “In God We Trust” license plates, the standard vehicle license plate since 2019. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, demands that the state government offer an alternative license plate at no additional fee.
On their website, American Atheists state that, “‘In God We Trust’ only became the national motto in 1956. However, it has long been used to show hostility toward atheists and religious minorities.”
American Atheists is joined by the Mississippi Humanist Association and three nonreligious Mississippi residents in this litigation. The individuals listed as plaintiffs on their website include Jason Alan Griggs, Kim Gibson, and Derenda Hancock.
First Lady Biden visits Jackson
First Lady Jill Biden @FLOTUS visits @JacksonStateU and the vaccination site located here in the capitol city. Her visit comes to prompt Mississippians to get vaccinated for COVID-19. She was joined by politicians including Mayor @ChokweALumumba and @BennieGThompson #vaccine pic.twitter.com/hgFwCYHSE0
— Magnolia Tribune (@magnoliatribune) June 22, 2021
Governor Reeves comments on FLOTUS visit
.@firstladyofMS and I thank @flotus for visiting and trust that our friends at @jacksonstateu will show her why Mississippi is known as the hospitality state.
My full statement below: pic.twitter.com/4Lnkrf2wne
— Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) June 22, 2021
YP – What to Expect When Mississippi Schools Return in the Fall
Schools in Mississippi were closed to in-person instruction on March 2020, and remained closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. All counties in the state were allowed to start reopening schools by August 2020.
“This has been a very resilient year for children, for teachers, for leaders, for parents,” said Dr. Carey Wright, State Superintendent of Education for Mississippi. “If there’s one thing I can say about Mississippians it’s that we are incredibly resilient and I think everyone is kind of looking forward to coming back to school in person and getting the year started.”
Wright said returning to school for the 2021-2022 school year will still look different because of the ongoing coronavirus. Because of this, districts will need to adjust how their schools will run in order to protect the health of students and staff.
MSDH daily COVID-19 reporting
Today MSDH is reporting 67 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 12 deaths, and 10 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The state's #covid19 totals are now 320,174 cases, 7,390 deaths, and 958,576 persons fully vaccinated. Full information: https://t.co/YCv9xPyJDk pic.twitter.com/uFSbQGPbCI
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) June 22, 2021
YP – State Audit report shows overwhelmed unemployment agency, other issues
Over $117 million in improper unemployment payments were made by Mississippi’s Department of Employment Security (MDES) last year and during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. This finding and several others – including new fraud-related findings at the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) when it was under previous leadership – were released today in the latest annual audit issued by State Auditor Shad White’s office.
“I want to thank the auditors for their diligent work on this important report,” said Auditor White. “They overcame many logistical hurdles this past year. This excellent report shows it’s more important than ever to understand the mistakes that were made when money was flowing so freely during COVID.”
At MDES, auditors found several internal controls suspended or bypassed as the agency responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment payments were then made to people who never actually lost a job, were already in jail, and others who were ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.
YP – Guest Calls for Transparency into Abrupt Suspension of ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy
Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS), Vice Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, today called for transparency into the Biden Administration’s hasty suspension of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
Guest highlighted the rash nature in which the administration made this announcement on January 20, 2021, concluding that it likely failed to conduct a proper analysis or notify the appropriate stakeholders before the suspension took effect.