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Mississippi Republican Party Newsletter for March 27

Dear fellow Republican,

Chairman Joe Nosef continues to tour the state and on Monday he met and spoke with the Harrison County Republican Women in Gulfport. WLOX covered the event.

The Republican Executive and Central Committee met at the Party headquarters last week and certified the results of the March 13 primary. Here are the final results of the presidential primary:

Rick Santorum: 96,156
Newt Gingrich: 91,499
Mitt Romney: 90,069
Ron Paul: 12,941

View all results here.

Upcoming Events

April 2– Chairman Nosef will speak with the Jackson County Republican Women. This event begins at 11:30 a.m. and is held at The Preserve on Highway 57. Sen. Brice Wiggins will also be a guest. For more information, please contact Susan Kelly Garrett, president of the Jackson County Republican Women, at woodnymph558@yahoo.com.

April 9– Chairman Nosef will speak with the Oktibbeha County Republican Party. This event begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Oktibbeha County Courthouse Annex. For more information, please contact Marnita Henderson, Vice-Chairwoman of the county party, at marnita@oktibbehagop.org.

April 12– Chairman Nosef will speak with the Northeast Mississippi Republican Club. This event is held at the library in downtown Corinth and begins at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Mike Stewart at northeastmsr@yahoo.com.

April 28– Precinct caucuses and county conventions will be held this day. Precinct caucuses begin at 10 a.m., while the county convention starts at 3 p.m.

Mississippi Republicans Working Hard For More Victories In November

Two weeks ago, more than 290,000 votes were cast in the presidential primary; doubling the turnout from 2008. After all the votes were counted, Rick Santorum will win 13 delegates to the national convention from Mississippi, while Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney will each win twelve.

And while the Republican presidential contest has yet to be finalized, the Mississippi Republican Party is ready to support the Party’s nominee. Republicans have won every presidential election in Mississippi dating back to 1980, and with hard work, that streak will extend to nine consecutive elections in November. In 2008, John McCain won 56 percent of the vote in the state. But over the past four years, we have seen the state trend even more Republican.

In 2010, Republicans Alan Nunnelee and Steven Palazzo unseated two popular Democratic Congressmen, and the momentum carried through 2011 as Phil Bryant won 62 percent of the vote, a record for a Republican candidate for Governor.

Leading the ticket in the state for Republicans will be U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. In the recent primary election, Senator Wicker received more than 254,000 votes setting a record for a Republican candidate in a primary in Mississippi. He has been an outstanding Senator and deserves the support of all Republicans this November.

Mississippi’s three Republican Congressmen also emerged unscathed from their primaries, and are in a very strong position leading to November. Representatives Alan Nunnelee, Gregg Harper, and Steven Palazzo have all served their constituents and the state admirably and deserve to be re-elected in November.

Mississippi continues to move in a Republican direction at all levels, and if Republicans continue working together and push forward to get-out-the-vote in November, the Party can continue its streak of victories in the state.

Gov. Bryant Encourages House, Senate To Approve Healthcare Bills
Press release from Gov. Phil Bryant

New legislation is poised to increase the number of health care jobs in Mississippi if the Legislature gives the nod to the Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Act. Gov. Phil Bryant sees the approval of these bills – House Bill 1537 and Senate Bill 2947 – a necessity for expanding the health care industry and creating jobs in Mississippi.House Bill 1537 and Senate Bill 2947 – mirror versions of the act provide incentives for health care related businesses to create new full time jobs in areas where hospitals exist.

Gov. Bryant said he is in favor of both bills because of the expansions that could be made in the health care industry. “Health care is an industry of necessity,” Gov. Bryant said. “Our population is aging, so we know that more Mississippians will have the need for increased health services. We also know that the health care industry creates good paying jobs that Mississippians need. As Governor I will do all that I can to help foster a positive environment for medical development while making sure Mississippians have the proper access to cutting edge medical care.”

Gov. Bryant sees the creation of Health Care Zones as a way to increase the quality of care available to both Mississippians and patients in other states who might come to Mississippi seeking cutting edge health services.

Hospitals generate nearly $12 billion in economic impact in the state annually, according to a report issued by the Mississippi Hospital Association. More than 94,700 Mississippians are employed as a result of a hospital’s operation or construction. Jobs in health care pay about 40 percent more than the state’s average income, according to the Greater Jackson Partnership’s healthcare initiative.

Mark Slyter, President and CEO, Baptist Health Systems said, “The Governor’s health care zone legislation has the potential to bring new businesses and jobs to the identified zones. This in itself is worthy of support; however, the biggest impact from this legislation is what it is sparking behind the scenes. We are pleased that many economic development groups are recognizing the importance of high quality health care and hope that, through this legislation, medical facilities around the state can make great strides in advancing health care innovation. In our industry, quality is the driver that can enhance Mississippi as a destination for health care. With the Governor’s lead and the collaborative planning efforts at the local and state level, we will enhance the quality of care provided in Mississippi, and the by-product of this has the potential to grow our economy.&r dquo;

Through the legislation, counties who have hospitals with a certificate of need for at least 375 acute care hospital beds can be declared by the Mississippi Development Authority as a Health Care Zone.

Special incentives would encourage health-related business sectors like pharmaceutical research and development, biotechnology, medical product manufacturing and distribution, laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging to establish new operations in counties with hospitals that have certificates of need for 375 acute care hospital beds or more. Health-related businesses would locate within a five mile radius of hospitals in such counties.

To qualify for incentives, companies must make an investment of at least $10 million and create a minimum of 25 permanent, full time jobs.

Incentives included in the legislation are:

– Accelerated state income tax depreciation deduction: This would encourage development by allowing companies to reduce taxable income after initial development in exchange for paying higher taxes in the future.
– Sales tax exemptions: These would give an exemption on equipment and materials purchased from the date of the project’s certification until three months after it is completed.
– Property tax Fee in Lieu: At the county’s discretion, qualified companies could pay a fee instead of a property tax for 10 years.
– Ad Valorem tax exemption for ten years: local governments would be allowed to grant qualified companies a ten-year exemption from taxes levied against a property’s value under this legislation.

Companies may also qualify for further incentives from MDA, such as:

– Advantage Jobs credit: This program rebates a percentage of payroll to companies who create new jobs. The jobs must meet or exceed the average state wage or average county wage, whichever is lower.
– Jobs Tax Credit: Certain businesses are eligible for credits that reduce income tax liability.
– Infrastructure Assistance: MDA can provide infrastructure assistance to qualified companies.

Bryant traveled in November 2011 to Houston, Texas and saw firsthand the benefit of the vibrant Texas Medical Center. The delegation was led by the Greater Jackson Partnership and included CEOs of the major health care providers, practicing physicians, and legislative and corporate leaders.

“The Governor’s Health Care Zone proposal will not only enhance the efficiency and quality of healthcare, but also stimulate economic development in our great state. This proposal thankfully adds Health Care to our state’s targeted industries list,” Duane O’Neill, President and CEO, Greater Jackson Partnership said.

Lt. Gov. Reeves, Sen. Clarke Present FY 2013 Senate Budget
Press release from Lt. Gov. Reeves

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Senate Appropriations Chairman Eugene “Buck” Clarke today released a Fiscal Year 2013 Senate Budget that avoids cuts to education while adequately funding other essential state services.The Senate Appropriations Committee today began reviewing the budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins July 1.

“This is a realistic budget that reflects the current economy,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “We’re prioritizing education funding while setting aside reserves for FY 2014. Releasing the entire budget today is part of my commitment to transparency in the budgeting process.”

The Senate has passed major education reforms, including meaningful charter school and school district consolidation legislation. However, reforms must be coupled with adequate resources in order to provide educational excellence. The Senate Budget increases funding for public schools and maintains current funding levels for universities and community and junior colleges.

“While I am pleased we were able to keep education funding at current levels, we must be mindful of saving for future fiscal years,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Clarke said.

View Senate budget.

See also: Joint Legislative Budget Committee revises revenue estimate

News & Notes From The Capitol

** Tomorrow, March 28, is the deadline in the legislature for original floor action on appropriations and revenue bills originating in each chamber.

You can view a recap of last week’s action in the House here.

** The House passed HB 536 today with a bi-partisan 84-33 vote. This will increase the level of state income-tax credits for businesses that pay inventory taxes. Currently, Mississippi is one of about a dozen states that still levy a tax on a company’s inventory and this is something that is particular harmful to large retailers and others who store large amounts of merchandise.

** Gov. Bryant released this statement following passage of legislation in the House which caps the state income tax of new physicians who choose to practice in medically undeserved communities: “I am pleased that the Mississippi House passed legislation today to encourage doctors to practice in medically underserved areas of our state. I outlined this initiative in my state of the state address, and this legislation will not only allow doctors to serve the rural areas of our state while maintaining the necessary income to support their families but can also foster the development of jobs that support a physician’s practice. Further, by increasing the availability of quality health care, we can improve the health of Mississippians and work toward reducing our state’s health care expenditures.”

In Case You Missed It

Two years later, Americans still can’t afford the Affordable Care Act
An op-ed from Rep. Steven Palazzo

Laurel Leader-Call 3/25/2012– In 2010, as the health care bill was being pushed through Congress in one of the biggest legislative showdowns in recent history, Democrats turned deaf ears to the cries of South Mississippians and Americans everywhere.

Medical Zones Proposal

WTOK 3/23/2012– Lawmakers are expected to soon lay the foundation for a new approach to medical care and development through several pieces of legislation making their way through the capitol.

Phil Bryant wants Mississippi to adopt statewide energy policy centered on natural gas

Mississippi Press 3/21/2012– Gov. Phil Bryant is pushing for the state to adopt a statewide energy policy and advocates natural gas development as a key component of a diverse energy economy.

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