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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

PRESS CLIPPINGS: Tuesday, February 7, 2006

1. The House passed the Delta Revitalization Bill with overwhelming support.
Bill proposes task force for Delta revitalization - The Clarion-Ledger:
An effort to revive the Mississippi Delta, the poorest region of the state, cleared the House on Monday afternoon.

"Job opportunities and health care have deteriorated in the Delta," said Rep. Rufus Straughter, D-Belzoni. "We're trying to fix that."

House Bill 1034, dubbed the Mississippi Delta Region Revitalization Act, creates a 25-member task force of Delta business people and politicians that would meet across the northwest section of the state over the next year. The program would cost $250,000.

The bill, approved in a 121-1 vote, heads to the Senate.
2. President Bush's budget will be a disaster for Mississippi. While he'll try to make us forget about it with the $18 billion relief package he is planning, the truth is still that vital services that help the most vulnerable of our citizens and our farmers will be cut drastically. See the MDP response here.
Bush budget mixed for Miss. - The Clarion-Ledger:
President Bush's new budget would cut subsidies for rice and cotton growers, slow the growth of the Medicare program and eliminate funding for dozens of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, including the ambitious Yazoo Pumps plan.

The president's proposed fiscal 2007 budget also doesn't include much money to continue Hurricane Katrina reconstruction efforts. Instead, the president is expected to send an $18 billion hurricane spending package to Congress within 10 days.
3. Bobby Harrison looks at the governor's decision to veto a bill that would make it easier on all Mississippians to buy groceries.
BOBBY HARRISON: Grocery tax reduction bill etches history -
Gov. Haley Barbour is working feverishly not to be a victim of history repeating itself.

The repeat of history would occur if the Republican governor's veto of legislation phasing out Mississippi's 7 percent tax on food and increasing the cigarette tax was overridden. Thus far, Barbour has been successful in preventing Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, who presides over the Senate, from obtaining the two-thirds majority needed in that body to override. It was Tuck, normally a close Barbour ally, who proposed the legislation to phase out the tax on food while offsetting some of that lost revenue with a cigarette tax hike.

Of course, there still is plenty of time left in the session to deal with the historic issue. Senators on both sides of the issue are having to make a point of being in the chamber every day in case the veto is taken up.
4. The Enterprise-Journal in McComb looks at the Legislature's newest member and her start.
Cockerham hits ground running - Enterprise-Journal:
Before the current legislative session began, new state Rep. Angela Cockerham heard that the first few weeks would be slow.


“The very first day that we got here we were off and running,” she said Thursday.

“I got here that Tuesday and was asked to vote on a piece of legislation my very first day. I’m glad that it’s not slow, to be honest with you. It was a great way for me to get acclimated.”


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