2020 Legislative Update
Monday, February 10th, 2020 | Week 5
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Matthew Charles: Saved by First Step Act
Matthew Charles has an inspiring testimony. Matthew Charles’ life has seen some extraordinary turns recently. After spending 21 years in prison on a 35-year sentence, he was released in 2016. He walked out of prison with nothing but soon created a full life for himself. It turned out, though, that his release was a mistake, and in May of 2018, he was sent back to serve out the rest of his sentence—more than a decade left to go. But on January 3 of this year, Matthew became one of the very first people to benefit from the First Step Act and was released again. 

Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Sam Polles is the Executive Director for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries ( MDWFP) . I visited with him and others at the headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi on Thursday along with the rest of my House members who serve on this committee. It was a great opportunity to ask specific questions about the parks in our districts and learn more about how the agency functions. The Great River Road Park and Lake Charlie Capps are both in House District 29. Personally, I'd like to see more of a commitment to improving waterways in Mississippi for both recreational and tourism purposes.

Mississippi State Parks at a Glance:

  • 607 structures statewide including 85 CCC structures 
  • 85.5 miles of paved road, 20 acres of parking and numerous bridges 
  • All facilities require clean drinking water and adequate sewer systems 
  • 45 miles of power lines and 288 transformers 
  • 244 cabins, 45 motel rooms, 24 Villa rooms, and 3 Townhouses
  • 1,856 Campsites

Photos of the Week
Here, I am photographed with Jerrie Barnes. He is Director at Hudspeth Regional Center in Whitfield, Mississippi.
Bobby Rush surprised the crowd at Hal & Mal's in Jackson, Mississippi on Monday night when he sat in on a set to play a song.
Alcorn State University Football Coach Fred McNair was at the Capitol with members of the team. They won the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship.
Elizabeth Swafford is a graduate student in Speech Pathology at Jackson State University. She is from Cleveland, Mississippi. If you are in the Capitol and want to speak with me, you can text me at 662-522-1400. If I am not in a meeting, I will usually respond within minutes.
Mississippi School for Math and Science (MSMS) in Columbus, Mississippi is a school that has produced many scholars. Here, I am photographed with students who currently attend the school. This year, MSMS is honored to be named NICHE's 6th best public high school in the nation with the #1 ranked faculty in the nation. Each year, MSMS graduates are offered millions of dollars in scholarships - the 104 graduates of the Class of 2019 accepted $9.8 million of the more than $27 million offered.
Here, I am photographed with Robert Williams and Dr. Tyrone Jackson. I was asked to visit Trigg Elementary, my 6th grade Alma Mater. Thanks to Mr. Williams fro asking me to speak to the youth. I enjoyed the time I got to spend with students and staff. To all the other colleges and universities, Dr. Jackson has a head start on recruiting these elementary school students.
Black History Month
Nina Simone can be described as one of the most conscious and soulful singers ever in the music game. While at the downtown Jackson State University campus, I saw this cool painting of her in the art gallery. It embodies her essence and style in an artistic manner. Nina is and forever will be unapologetically Black