Capitol Visit
On Monday, I sat inside the Capitol working until about 6:30pm. When I came out, I met these two tourist from Wisconsin who were visiting our Capitol. They both had a lot of questions to ask me about Mississippi. I did my best to articulate my point of view as a Mississippian and a legislator. I am hopeful they will return and bring others to the state I call home. #tourism

Steve Holland
Veteran lawmaker Steve Holland of Plantersville took to the well on Friday morning to announce that he would be retiring after this term due to a diagnosis of dementia.  Having served honorably and expertly since 1984, The Gentleman from Lee will leave a void in the House that will be difficult to fill. And, it probably never will be filled so colorfully again.  As his colleagues, we count it an honor to have served during a time when Steve Holland was in the House. We will miss his keen passion for his fellow Mississippians. #service

Bolivar County Page
Kyana Lee asked me about being a page a few months ago at a basketball game. At the time, I told her I was only selecting one page my first year. I was glad to hear that this John F. Kennedy High School senior remained consistent. This past week, Senator Willie Simmons selected her as his page. When I asked about her week as a page, she said, "It has been a great experience. I want to come back!!!"

***Please scroll to bottom of newsletter to read the weekly update and state budget news!!! Thanks for staying engaged.
Because I have known Representative Willie Bailey just about all my life, it is an honor to serve with him. I appreciate his commitment to the Mississippi Delta. #leadership



  I am a 1994 University of Southern Mississippi graduate. This was my first time meeting President Rodney Bennett. #USM

This week, the Camper Caucus had a end of session bash. Here, I am photographed with Representative Roun McNeil, film advocate Jordan Sudduth, and Representative Jody Steverson.
Johnny T's ( http://johnnytsbistroandblues.com) is a hip restaurant and music venue in Jackson, Mississippi on Farish Street. While walking around looking at the murals outside, I met the owner, John Tierre. #goodvibe


The University of Southern Mississippi Head Coach, Jay Hobson, and I spoke at a meet and greet this week. I was impressed to hear his outlook for the upcoming football season. #USM

I met Mr. Larry Vance one night after working late at the Capitol. I have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him this legislative session . #latehours

I had to stay in Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday for Conference Weekend. Adrienne and Abee came to the Capitol for a couple hours to enjoy the annual Easter Egg hunt. #fun

Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr.
Legislative Update
March 20th- March 24th, 2017

At this point in the session, a majority of bills have either been sent to the Governor to be signed into law or are being discussed in conference. Conference on a bill occurs when further discussion is needed by both sides to reach the best solution. A conference consists of three Representatives and three Senators who work together to finalize a bill. Once a bill is out of conference, it must go to both the House and Senate for a vote before being sent to the Governor.

Among the bills signed into law last week by the Governor were measures that enhanced penalties for killing an officer, firefighter or first responder during the line of duty ( House Bill 645); a bill revising provisions for schools' bullying prevention programs ( House Bill 263); revisions to Youth Court custody orders ( House Bill 652); an act requiring public bodies to post special meeting notices on their web sites ( House Bill 1116); enhanced penalties on those who would interfere with the Witness Protection Program ( House Bill 1367); and, a measure authorizing savings accounts for first-time homeowners ( House Bill1601).

With only one week left in the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers remained in Jackson to work throughout the weekend. Deadline for bills to come out of conference and pass the House and Senate occurs next week. Any bills that are passed will be sent to the Governor to be signed into law. The session is quickly coming to a end.

On Tuesday, Terry High School basketball star Nyah Tate was honored for her achievements on and off the court. The Florence High School football team was recognized for an outstanding season and the boys soccer team also made an appearance to be recognized for winning the MHSAA Class 4A State Championship.

Madison Station Elementary School first-grade teacher Allison Ruhl was honored with House Resolution 21 on Wednesday for being the only Mississippian to receive a 2017 Milken Educator Award. That same day, seven students from St. Andrew's Episcopal School were honored with House Resolution 64 for obtaining a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college admissions test. Students from Davis Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary School received House Concurrent Resolution 64 for being named best elementary school in Mississippi by SchoolDigger.com. Finally, House Concurrent Resolutions 57, 58 and 60 were presented to Mississippi's Male Athlete of the Year (Brian Fleming), Female Athlete of the Year (Evelyn Watkins) and Youth Athlete of the Year (Megan Heggie), respectively.

On Thursday, House Concurrent Resolution 71 was passed to designate August 26 as Women's Equality Day in Mississippi. The Raymond High School boys basketball team was presented with House Resolution 72 to commend and congratulate them on winning the MHSAA Class 4A State Championship. House Concurrent Resolution 104 was also presented to recognize the grand opening of the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience.

More Mississippians were honored Friday, including Dr. James Anderson, who was recently named a Healthcare Hero for his 50-plus years of healthcare service to low-income, uninsured minority populations. Similarly, Dr. Freda McKissic Bush was honored for her life of healthcare service to Mississippians. This year's Miss Black Mississippi USA Kristy D'Anna Johnson was also recognized for her title.

Among the special guests that were honored, other visitors to the Capitol this week included Mississippi Farm Bureau, NASA's Stennis Space Center, Mission Mississippi and the Center for Education Innovation.

Go to www.legislature.ms.gov to check action on various pieces of legislation, see our schedules, and what's on the calendar for floor debate.  You may email all of the Representatives at representatives@ls.ms.gov or all of the Senators at senators@senate.ms.gov.

STATE BUDGET

Government exists to provide essential services - public safety, health care, public education, highways, etc. Our mutual contribution to that effort is called "tax." It is irresponsible to cut taxes when essential services cannot be provided to the people. It is also not prudent to give away state revenues to big corporations in the form of "incentives" and "tax credits" with no thought toward eventual consequences. 

At the beginning of the fiscal year, agencies were promised appropriations at a certain level, and they planned accordingly. Last Friday afternoon legislators were presented with revenue figures $175 million less than anticipated for the FY2017-2018 appropriation. The current state budget will be cut by an additional $20 million at a minimum, with potentially more to come. The Governor also transferred $39 million from the Rainy Day fund.

Agencies were warned that appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018 will be budgeted at the same amount as final figures for this year, which means officials are anticipating zero growth for the coming year. Additionally, the latest estimate for next year apparently does not recognize the coming massive reduction in tax contributions from actions taken in previous sessions. When all the favored corporate tax cuts and credits are factored in, the State should expect a total revenue reduction of over $410 million annually when fully implemented.

Though I am a freshman legislator, it is is clear to see that we are in a difficult financial situation. The outlook is very bleak for the state due to declining revenues and no new revenue streams in the horizon. I am optimistic that state leadership, my colleagues, and I can navigate around the challenges ahead. Otherwise, many of the services that so many Mississippians depend on will no longer be available.

For more information on the budget, read this Clarion Ledger article: Click to Read Full Story

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    Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr. | 662-522-1400www.abemhudsonjr.com

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