Friday, January 1st, 2020
Happy New Year
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Let’s face it, 2020 was a tough year. And whenever there are challenges, you can find out how strong you are. Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta, you have shown your resilience and resolve in times past, and you have held up strong again. Even before Covid-19, we have had challenges with Education, Healthcare, and Economic Growth. The pandemic essentially exposed many of the root causes of why the Mississippi Delta and parts of Mississippi are not positioned for long term growth. Here are a few of my priorities to address these items going into 2021:

***Support 100% broadband to every home in Mississippi 
***Press for criminal justice reform (better reentry programs, more rehabilitative services, and pay increase for corrections officers)
***Expand Medicaid
***Improve Educator and State Employee pay
***Fund MAEP (Mississippi Adequate Education Program)
***Invest more into infrastructure (roads, bridges, sewer, & water)
***Push for early voting in Mississippi
***Ensure food insecurity becomes a priority
***Shrink the healthcare gap
***Support the creative economy

Don't get me wrong, I acknowledge we have made some strides. With the retirement of the Mississippi State flag, legislation to remove a Jim Crow era law, and legalization of medicinal marijuana, Mississippi is showing signs of progress and I could not be more proud. If she keeps pushing, she will eventually get there but we must never give up on her for the sake of those before us who paved the way and the future of our children and grandchildren who depend on our decisions. To my colleagues, I look forward to that same spirit as we embark on 2021.

Additionally, it was inspiring to be a part of helping to shape policy around how to appropriate the $1.25 billion Cares Act funds from the federal government. It didn’t matter if you were a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, the priority to us all was that the money and resources got put in places to help Mississippians. I am proud of how we attempted to put party aside and do good work for the people of Mississippi. The future of our Dear State depends on what we do today. 

Happy New Year to the constituents of House District 29 (Bolivar and Sunflower Counties), my colleagues in the Mississippi Legislature, and anyone who has got love for my home state of Mississippi.
Social Media Notable Items...
Entergy's Mississippi Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
(LIHEAP) is for low-income households in who can't afford to pay their utility bills. The program offers to pay the utility provider on the behalf of household. Resumption of disconnects for non-payment will start in January. As we begin this process, Entergy is committed to working with customers facing financial hardships to pursue bill payment assistance to avoid service disruption. Please CLICK HERE to learn more about this opportunity
Mississippi Lottery Revenue
The Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC) completed its November transfer of $7,970,084.81 in net proceeds to the Lottery Proceeds Fund in the Mississippi State Treasury. This brings the total transfer for Fiscal Year 2021 to $ 41,625,121.54. The Powerball® jackpot for Wednesday, December 30, is an estimated $363 million. This is the highest the Powerball jackpot has been since January! Additionally, the Mega Millions® jackpot for Friday, January 1st, is an estimated $401 million!
Snap Incentives
1 in 10 families in the United States benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP), a program that helps millions of individuals and families with low-incomes buy groceries.

As part of SNAP, the government established the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) program and set aside $100 million in funds for SNAP “incentive” programs, which have become a powerful way to incentivize participants to buy nutritious produce. These incentives act as an economic engine for the state and local economy, in addition to promoting healthy communities. Farmers, grocery store owners, farmer’s market vendors and small retail stores all reap the benefit from higher sales of produce.

To help spur economic growth in our community, we must support SNAP incentives and procure the necessary funds to establish a strong incentives program. An established SNAP incentives program can be a catalyst for economic growth while also dealing with hunger issues across communities:

• SNAP incentives can increase spending on fruits and vegetables in grocery stores, which generates economic growth. Every $5 spent using SNAP generates as much as $9 in economic activity.

• SNAP incentives generate job growth. Every $1 billion of SNAP benefits also creates 8,900 - 17,900 full-time jobs.

• SNAP incentives have had a direct impact on revenues for local merchants, especially farmers. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, each $1 billion of retail generated by SNAP creates $340 million in farm production, $110 million in farm value added, and 3,300 farm jobs.

• SNAP incentives can spur increased spending on fruits and vegetables in grocery stores, which means many store owners benefit from increased sales.

• SNAP incentives directed at low-income populations are associated with expanded physical access to healthy foods.

• SNAP incentives benefit some of the most vulnerable populations in our country, helping to reduce food insecurity. Nearly two-thirds of all SNAP participants are children, elderly, and people with disabilities. It’s hard to ignore the benefits of a strong SNAP incentives program.

Please CLICK HERE to find out more.
Please text me at 662-522-1400 for additional questions or inquiries.