Gov. Phil Bryant has issued an Executive Order, proclaiming today as an official day of mourning to honor four Mississippians who have recently lost their lives in performance of law enforcement or military service. You can receive more information on the Executive Order here.
Tomorrow, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. on the Second Floor of the State Capitol Rotunda. Secretary Hosemann will address recent comments allegedly made by a United States Department of Justice Voting Rights Division employee calling Mississippi “Disgusting and Shameful.”
You can find the official session-end summary from the House of Representatives here.
Here are three stories that are driving the day in Mississippi:
The Mississippi Legislature was scheduled to adjourn today. Instead, lawmakers went home Thursday, three days early.
That is notable for several reasons, including the fact that it saves money.
The state Constitution sets the length of the first legislative session after a general election at 125 days. The following three legislative terms leading up to the next general election are to last 90 days.
The extra 35 days tacked on to the first session allow new and returning legislators more time to get organized.
That additional month would have seemed especially needed this year, the first time since the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War that Republicans had majorities in both chambers of the Legislature and the governorship.
Expectations were sky-high.
Republicans, after years of fighting against Democrats who controlled the state House of Representatives, took complete control of Mississippi’s government in January for the first time in 140 years.
Newly-elected Gov. Phil Bryant, among others, cast the transition as epochal.
“In my lifetime, there has never been such an historic change as we are witnessing in our state government,” Bryant said in his State of the State address Jan. 24. “In the few weeks since January began, Mississippi welcomed a new lieutenant governor, speaker of the House and inaugurated a new governor. For the first time in generations, all three share a common conservative philosophy about how best to move our state forward.”
As the 2012 session started, many South Mississippi leaders were concerned about a loss of clout and seniority for the area after a huge turnover — nearly half the 29-member delegation — from last year’s elections.
The Coast, through elections or attrition, had lost the number-two posts in both the House and Senate and several powerful chairmanships or money committee postings.
But the worries appeared unfounded this session. Coast lawmakers, including freshmen, were deeply involved in major state legislation and spending.