Mississippi Republican Party Newsletter for April 24

Dear fellow Republican,

Don’t forget that the Mississippi Republican Party will hold our precinct causes and county conventions on Saturday. The precinct caucuses will be held at your local voting precinct at 10 a.m. followed by county conventions at your courthouse at 3 p.m. This is the process of Party reorganization and it occurs every four years. It is a great way to get involved with the Republican Party at the local level as we continue to grow the Party throughout the state.

Jobs Announcement Marks Gov. Bryant’s 100th Day In Office
Press release from Gov. Phil Bryant

NATCHEZ- Gov. Phil Bryant marked his 100th day in office by making an economic development announcement in Adams County. Bryant joined officials from two companies – The Blain Companies and Fores Canada Inc. – to announce a business agreement that will create about 60 new energy-related jobs in Natchez.

The two companies are partnering to produce and strengthen frac sand. Frac sand is used by the oil and gas industry for hydraulic fracturing of conventional and unconventional reservoirs, such as shale wells, to enhance oil and natural gas recovery.

“I applaud Blain for expanding its Mississippi operations and am pleased to welcome Fores to our state,” Gov. Bryant said. “Together, these two companies are creating 60 jobs for the residents of southwest Mississippi.  I am grateful for their confidence in our workforce and their investment in our state, and they will play a vital role in expanding our energy economy.”

Blain, which currently maintains quarry operations in Natchez, is expanding with the launch of a new business division, Magnolia Frac Sand LLC. The new company will produce frac sand for Fores Canada Inc.’s new division, Fores Frac Sand LLC, to be located in Natchez.  Another new division of Fores Canada Inc., Fores Resin Coat LLC, will strengthen some of the frac sand by coating it with resin.

Fores is also installing a handling facility and a loading and storage facility in Natchez. Blain is investing $7 million in Magnolia Frac Sand, and Fores is investing $27 million into its Mississippi entry.

Bryant says today’s announcement is the type of story he’d like the members of his new Mississippi Works committee to share as they spread the word about Mississippi’s attractiveness as a business-friendly state.

“Mississippi works, plain and simple,” Gov. Bryant said. “I ask companies all the time why they chose Mississippi, and the answer is always the same: our state has a pro-business atmosphere, and Mississippians are hard workers who make excellent employees.”

Bryant said during his inaugural address that his first job was to make sure every Mississippian that wanted a job had a job, and during his first 100 days in office, the governor has worked to ensure that Mississippi establishes a pro-growth climate.

In his inaugural State of the State address, Bryant outlined 31 new initiatives that would shape his administration, and many of those initiatives have become components of his legislative agenda.

The House and Senate have each passed versions of Bryant’s dual enrollment measure. House Bill 864 and Senate Bill 2792 are part of Bryant’s Mississippi Works package and aim to transition potential high school dropouts into community and junior college workforce training programs. Each chamber has also considered and passed the other’s version of the bill, and the two bodies will agree on a final version of the measure soon.

The Mississippi Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act (Senate Bill 2398), also part of the Mississippi Works package, has been transmitted to Gov. Bryant to be signed into law.

“I will not stand for job-killing regulations, and I look forward to signing this bill that helps create an environment where small businesses can flourish,” Bryant said.

Bryant has also advocated energy and health care as two sectors that will drive Mississippi’s economic development.

House members will consider Senate revisions to House Bill 1330, Bryant’s Energy and Sustainability Act of 2012. The legislation aims to drive development in the energy industry by creating efficiency incentives for businesses, establishing innovation and collaboration through the Biomass Center for Excellence and curbing state energy costs by implementing a statewide energy efficiency plan.

Both chambers of the Legislature have also passed the Health Care Industry Zone Act (House Bill 1537) and will work to agree on a final version of the bill. The legislation incents health-care-related businesses to create new, full-time jobs in designated health care zones.

Additional milestones from Gov. Bryant’s first 100 days in office:

  • Announced that Mississippi and Stennis Space Center would establish the National Oceans and Applications Research Center. NOARC will be a “Woods Hole of the South” and will create economic opportunities by supplying entrepreneurs with “space to sea floor” data about the Gulf of Mexico and other warm water oceans.
  • Continues to lead efforts to expand the Port of Gulfport and deepen its shipping channel in anticipation of the expansion of the Panama Canal.
  • With the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, announced new, post-BP disaster restoration efforts to rehab oyster beds and artificial reefs in the Gulf.
  • Created the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task Force and issued a plan to reduce teen pregnancy in Mississippi by 15 percent by 2017.
  • Both chambers are working toward a final version of House Bill 16, the Child Protection Act
  • Called for workable charter school legislation to give Mississippi’s children the educational. opportunities they deserve. The House is considering Senate revisions to House Bill 1152.
  • Issued an Executive Budget Recommendation with no new taxes, no planned deficits and adherence to two percent savings.
  • Issued a supplemental budget recommendation that level-funds the homestead exemption to provide tax relief to Mississippi homeowners and directs $250,000 to the state auditor to provide resources for the auditor and his staff to audit Mississippi’s spending against existing budget performance standards.
  • Called for increased flexibility in Medicaid’s repayment methods to confront Mississippi’s ballooning Medicaid obligations.
  • Approved sale of Mississippi’s Cessna Citation jet for $2 million and requested that funds be directed the Mississippi Highway Patrol for the purchase of 78 trooper vehicles.
  • Announced natural gas fleet fuel pilot program at the Department of Finance and Administration and signed a memorandum of understanding with 11 other governors to encourage the production of natural gas fleet vehicles.
  • Announced the June 2 commissioning of the USS-MISSISSIPPI to be held in Pascagoula.
  • Joined other governors in opposing federal cuts to the Air National Guard.
  • Re-established the Mississippi Military Communities Council to promote Mississippi’s military missions.
  • Signed House Bill 1390 to protect patient safety at Mississippi’s abortion clinic.
  • Announced the first annual Governor Phil Bryant’s 5K Run for Health.

Three Struggling Sunflower County School Districts To Be Consolidated Under New Law
Press release from Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves

A newly signed law will improve efficiency and provide a better education for the students of Sunflower County, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said today.Gov. Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2330, which combines the administrations of Drew, Sunflower and Indianola school districts, which are currently under conservatorship at the state Department of Education, and requires an appointed superintendent to lead the new district. Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, sponsored the bill.

“I appreciate Gov. Bryant signing this meaningful piece of my legislative agenda,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Consolidation will enable the district to focus on classroom needs over administrative costs by eliminating duplicative functions and freeing up more than $1 million for better educational use.”

This school district can serve as a model for consolidating certain districts in the future, Reeves said.

“Most importantly, this new law can improve educational opportunities for the students of Sunflower County,” Reeves said.

Updates From The State Capitol

Gov. Bryant Signs Small Business Bill

Gov. Phil Bryant yesterday signed into law legislation that aims to remove unnecessary barriers to business growth by giving small businesses a voice in state rulemaking processes.

Bryant outlined the need for the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act (Senate Bill 2398) in his inaugural State of the State address and says the measure is needed to ensure that government does not over-regulate job creators.

House Sends Charter School Legislation To Conference

Yesterday, the state House voted to send HB 1152, containing the amended charter school legislation, to conference. House leaders believe additional changes are needed before they can win majority support in that chamber.

Upcoming Deadline In The State Legislature

Thursday is the deadline to concur or not concur on amendments from the other House to general bills and Constitutional amendments.

Mayor Barry Reports On Financial Progress From Meridian

Last week the city of Meridian, under the leadership of Mayor Cheri Barry, received news from their independent auditors that the city is on its way to a healthy recovery.

The general fund balance has improved to a much more substantial level as sales tax revenue has increased, and expenses for long-term liabilities- such as general obligation bonds, special bonds, and capital improvements- have decreased.

While many cities and towns around the nation still face potential bankruptcies, the city of Meridian took on the significant issues and made the difficult decisions. They did this, not by raising taxes, but by cutting spending, and today Meridian is in better shape because of it.

Mayor Barry was elected as the Republican mayor of Meridian in 2009; she is the first female to hold this position.

Mississippi Federation Of College Republicans Elects New Board

Last night, the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans voted to elect Allen Hamilton, chairman, and Chris Hood, vice-chairman, for the upcoming year.

“College Republicans is a great organization and I am looking forward to capitalizing on the efforts of the previous board to maximize the organization’s impact in Mississippi,” newly-elected Chairman Hamilton said in regards to being elected. “One goal of the new board includes spreading the organization to new campuses throughout Mississippi in order to help organize the conservative youth throughout the state.”

Newly-elected Vice-Chairman Chris Hood spoke of the boards plan to improve the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans internal and external communication strategy. “We want to emphasize communication as a means of strengthening College Republicans. This will include improved communication between the executive board and individual chapters through meetings and quarterly review of chapters’ growth and activity. We also hope to improve external communication through use of social media, such as, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook; with the goal of having an active website by the end of the year.”

Other goals stated by executive board included are to build stronger relationships with other Republican affiliated groups through attendance of events hosted by those groups and to improve fundraising efforts to increase the federation’s ability to spread College Republicans’ voice in Mississippi.

The new board looks forward to a successful year of building College Republicans in Mississippi, and is excited to work with all College Republicans to achieve mutual goals.

The purpose of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans is to recruit, register, train and mobilize young adults on college campuses statewide to build our party and elect Republicans. The  Mississippi Federation of College  Republicans serves as a voice for conservative students across the state, and provides students with the training and resources necessary to spread the conservative movement and prepare the future leaders of the Republican Party.

In Case You Missed It

Appropriations Chair: One-time money must go

Associated Press 4/23/2012– The Mississippi House Appropriations chairman says the state must become less reliant on one-time money.

Bryant’s first 100 days: Methodical approach produces early victories

Clarion-Ledger 4/22/2012– He is keeping tabs on his progress with a color-coded spreadsheet, adding checkmarks when victory is won.

Major embezzlement scheme exposed in Panola county, State Auditor recovers $229,000

Press release 4/18/2012– Following a joint investigation by the State Auditor’s Office, FBI, United States Attorney and the USDA, State Auditor Stacey Pickering returned $85,678, the final civil portion of the $229,427 recovered in the case involving David Chandler, former county administrator of Panola County.

Gov. Bryant announces $13.6 million in BP-funded restoration work

WLOX 4/17/2012– As we approach the two year anniversary of the BP oil spill, Governor Phil Bryant on Tuesday announced two BP-funded projects to help restore the gulf.

Republicans post strong fundraising quarter in Mississippi

MRP News 4/17/2012– Members of the Mississippi Congressional delegation filed two campaign finance reports during this quarter that just ended, with incumbent Republicans outraising their opponents by large margins as we approach the November elections.

Updates From The Congressional Delegation

Cochran seeks balance between U.S. security and fiscal discipline

Senator Thad Cochran on Wednesday used the proposed budget for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to underscore the challenges arising from the need to balance fiscal discipline and the obligation to protect the American people.

Wicker Report: Mississippi part of global fight against malaria

For more than two decades, researchers at the University of Mississippi have worked on anti-malarial compounds and the development of a new class of drugs to treat the disease.

Rep. Harper: Need To Know- Tax cuts

The House of Representatives passed a bill today that will allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their active business income.

Nunnelee’s Newsletter: Party In The GSA

Taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet in this economy and have every right to be furious when they see government bureaucrats wasting their money.

Rep. Palazzo: RESTORE Act takes the right approach to long-term recovery

This bi-partisan legislation would bring Gulf Coast environmental and economic restoration full circle by placing both funds and decision-making power back in the hands of the five Gulf Coast states.

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