Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup.
YP – Opportune Time for PERS and the Legislature To Strike a Grand Bargain
Mississippi’s defined benefit pension system had a banner year for its investments in fiscal 2021 and the financial breathing room could be a springboard for real reform that ensures its long-term viability.
The goal of any reform is to ensure that promises to present retirees are honored while making sure taxpayers, who are legally bound by court decisions and state law, won’t need to finance an enormous bailout.
The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi — which is the retirement fund for most state, city and county employees — reported a rate of return of more than 30 percent on its investments in fiscal 2021, which ended on June 30th.
YP – Ag Commissioner previews inaugural MS Ag and Outdoor Expo
Ag Commissioner Andy Gipson joined Y’all Politics on Thursday to give us a preview of the inaugural Mississippi Ag & Outdoor Expo.
The event is hosted by The Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks and presented by Southern AgCredit, will be held at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds from Friday, August 6, through Sunday, August 8, in the Trade Mart. In conjunction with the Expo, a concert featuring Mississippi’s own Adam Doleac and Hannah Everhart, Corey Smith, and headliner Tyler Farr, will be held on Saturday, August 7, at 6:00 p.m. in the Mississippi Coliseum.
YP – Mississippi sees increase in COVID-19 vaccinations as cases rise
According to the Mississippi Department of Health, a total of 2,223,699 vaccines have been administered in the state of Mississippi. Of that, 1,239,869 Mississippians have received the first dose while 1,043,017 residents have been fully vaccinated.
The MSDH said around 53,000 people received either a first or second dose of the coronavirus vaccine the week of July 25 to 31.
This comes after Mississippi reportedly reached a low point of around 20,000 vaccinations for the week of July 4 to July 10.
MSDH COVID-19 Reporting
Today MSDH is reporting 3,164 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 16 deaths, and 140 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. State #covid19 totals: 356,055 cases, 7,613 deaths, and 1,043,017 persons fully vaccinated. Full information: https://t.co/YCv9xPyJDk pic.twitter.com/Go3KFf4HXN
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) August 5, 2021
YP – Congress works through infrastructure bill with billions in additional investment
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act currently totals at $550 billion and gives U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg autonomy over roughly $105 billion of new spending that has reached $274 billion in the bill.
At this point, the majority of the bill is based on traditional infrastructure but there are several new highlights that are being debated, including an additional influx of spending on top of those base bills.
Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has acknowledged the necessity of upgrading infrastructure in Mississippi and across the country. As the process continues a spokesperson with her office said she is looking at the credibility of the offsets in the package, and believes a Congressional Budget Office score would be helpful to determine whether this huge bill is actually paid for or just more deficit spending.
Governor Reeves declares state of emergency in Holmes County Schools
Today, after a thorough review, I agreed with the actions taken by the Commission on School Accreditation and the recommendation by the State Board of Education and I declared a state of emergency within the Holmes County Consolidated School District. (1/5) pic.twitter.com/9iQaNiRq7u
— Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) August 5, 2021
WDAM – Tax referendum passes in Petal special election
Citizens in Petal took to the polls to cast their ballot on a tax referendum Thursday.
The referendum was passed, which will add an additional three percent sales tax to restaurants, bars, and hotels in the city.
Petal Mayor Tony Ducker shares the impact the increase can have on the general public.
“Got around 74, 75% in favor of this. This bill’s incapacity into the budget,” Ducker says. “You can actually see that this sales tax will bring in. Put it over where you’re spending money in recreation, in tourism, in civic center, senior center and move the money back over to the general fund.”