Education Rally
On Friday, there was an education rally at the State Capitol entitled "Seat at the Table." This event was to persuade and encourage state leadership to allow the people of Mississippi to have a voice in education policy that impacts the 490,000 kids in Mississippi.

I was refreshed to see that there were Democrats, Republicans, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, young, and old. It reminded me that education impacts EVERYONE!!! If you weren't in attendance, it's not too late to join the fight for public education. Please make your voice heard by reaching out to your Mississippi State Representative and Senator. 

Read the Mississippi Today article about the rally here:

State Flag
The Mississippi Flag has again became a topic of discussion in recent weeks. Several floor maneuvers to pass amendments were attempted. The amendments would have required institutions of higher learning to fly the Mississippi state flag. Individually, I spoke to several of my colleagues who voted for the amendments or stood during unsuccessful roll calls. I wanted to attempt to understand their perspective about why the flag, though divisive, is so important to them and some other Mississippians. In every case, we walked away feeling basically the same way we did before the conversation. However, I do believe that talking is the beginning of change.

Representative Sonja Barnes used a point of personal privilege to speak on the flag issue Thursday morning. I was glad she brought balance to the conversation. Mississippi Today wrote a story about her stance. Please read excerpts in this article:

***Please scroll to bottom of newsletter to read the weekly update!!! Thanks for staying engaged.
Here, I am pictured with Deputy Executive Director, Steven Allen, of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. I asked questions and learned more about what the agency does to help Mississippians in need. #support

  Clancy Smith, the Information Officer for the House of Representatives, has been helpful and supportive since I got elected. Last week, she celebrated a birthday!!! #happybirthday

Maranda Joiner is well known around the art, music, and creative scene in Jackson, Mississippi. I was happy to share a laugh with her last week. #goodpeople
Representative Donnie Bell and I have no hair. It was a pleasure meeting his son, Jeremiah, who doesn't have that problem. #youth

Robert Maxwell, Rosedale-Bolivar County Port Director, was in Jackson, Mississippi for a meeting last week. It is always good to communicate with someone from my district who is interested in economic development. #ports

Representative Richard Bennett and I were both walking by the Department of Education when I got this shot. Until he told me, I didn't realize the building use to be the site for Central High School. #history

Ben Moncrief with CSpire and I sat together at the BIPEC annual luncheon. I was pleased to hear more about what CSpire is researching to potentially offer affordable broadband internet in rural areas. #technology

As a kid in the Mississippi Delta, I looked forward to participating in the summer reading program. After we had discussed potential budget cuts and strategies to generate income, I was happy to take this photo with Jenniffer Wann, Director of Bolivar County Library System. #solutions

Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr.
Legislative Update
March 13th- March 17th, 2017

The deadline to consider revenue and appropriations bills that originated in the Senate occurred this week. Among other things, these bills detail how much money will be appropriated to a number of different state boards and departments. These include the Department of Revenue, the Department of Public Safety and the Institution of Higher Learning (IHL).  While most appropriations bills were passed in a block, a few were pulled out for individual discussion.

As the 2017 legislative session winds down, several bills are being "concurred" upon, by both the House and Senate, with minor changes and sent to the Governor to be signed into law. 
An example good example is  House Bill 919. I  authored this bill at the beginning of session. The bill will allow Delta State University the authority to lease property for development purposes. 

The Gaming Commission appropriation bill, Senate Bill 2986, was given individual attention when an amendment was offered to create a lottery in the state of Mississippi. Ultimately, the amendment failed, marking the last opportunity to establish a state lottery this year.

Appropriations for the IHL, Senate Bill 2954 and Senate Bill 2955, also garnered discussion when amendments were introduced that would require state schools to prominently display the Mississippi flag to receive state money. Both attempts to adopt the amendment failed, as did a similar piece of legislation from last week, which died on the calendar.

Most of these appropriations and revenue bills will be discussed at conference, a period during which Representatives and Senators will work together to finalize numbers in each bill.

The Health Care Collaboration Act was passed for concurrence. House Bill 926 will allow the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) to enter into a health care collaborative with other health care entities throughout the state. However, this good news came at the same time  the University of Mississippi Medical Center announced that 195 employees were being fired and over 80 jobs were being eliminated because of budget cuts. To read the entire story, please click:

House members also sent the Back the Badge Act to the Governor, which will double penalties for any crime committed against law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

On Wednesday, the House presented House Resolution 10 to leaders of Camp Shelby to commemorate the training facility's 100th anniversary. Members also presented House Concurrent Resolution 25 to Jake and Shirley Sanford, founders of Veterans OutReach, a charity that focuses on bettering the lives of Mississippi veterans home residents.

Among visitors to the Capitol this week were members of the Mississippi Library Commission, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, the Children's Center for Communication and Development, the Children's Defense Fund and Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

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    Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr. |