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Friday, February 03, 2006

PRESS CLIPPINGS: Friday, February, 3, 2006

1. The House of Representatives has voted to raise taxes on small cigarette companies not affected by the other tax increase. The bill had overwhelming support. The governor hasn't announced, but I'm sure he'll veto. But then again, Big Tobacco might like Small Tobacco taxed and therefore he might let this ride.
Mississippi House raises tax on small cigarette makers -
The Mississippi House, by an overwhelming 88-34 margin Thursday, voted to increase the tax on small cigarettes manufacturers by 43 cents per pack.

The tax, supporters said, would "even the playing field" between the small companies and the large cigarette manufacturers.
2. Bill Minor has a great column on Gov. Barbour's resistance to legislative oversight to how he spends $5.5 billion. Now, let me get this straight. He's against $20 million for the Partnership not having legislative oversight, but he's for $5.5 billion in loans going without any oversight. What he's most interested in, in my humble opinion, is not having anyone oversee who he gets to administer these loans. Because the chunk of change that goes to administrative costs will be a pretty penny that would make a great political slush fund. Anyone thinking about that besides the governor?
Greenwood Commonwealth - Opinion - 02/02/2006 - Barbour resists oversight:
Few in the news media paid any attention last week when Gov. Haley Barbour - using the same playbook as his top gun in the White House - tipped his hand that he doesn't want legislators holding him to account when he spends billions of Katrina recovery dollars Congress sends to the state.

The tip-off came when the House battled over a bill creating a legislative oversight committee made up of seven House members and seven senators to monitor vast streams of post-Katrina recovery money intended for housing grants, law enforcement, education and public works.

Reported from the House's select committee on Katrina recovery, the measure was handled on the floor by Rep. Jessica Upshaw, R-Diamondhead, a committee member. It was expected to encounter little if any opposition.
3. The House honors the 155th for their service.
Hattiesburg American - - Hattiesburg, Miss.:
Lawmakers during emotional ceremonies at the state Capitol on Thursday honored the largest brigade of Mississippi National Guard soldiers to deploy to a combat zone since World War II.

Dozens of members of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, wearing desert camouflage, joined lawmakers and the Guard's top brass in tributes to the 3,500 Mississippians who spent the past year in Iraq.


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