Please scroll to the  bottom  to read my  newsletter  from the eighth week of the 2018 Mississippi Legislative session. Also, you can forward the newsletter to others who might want to be better informed about the political process. Thanks for your engagement. In the email, I have included the following:

*Photojournal
*Committee Work
*Legislative Deadlines Calendar
*House Floor Action
*Bond Bill Explanation
*Child Care Policy Updates

If you click on the blue hyperlinks in the newsletter, you will be directed to a bill or article.

Kierre Rimmer started a non-profit called Fly Zone ( https://www.foreverliftingyouth.org). The acronym stands for Forever Lifting Youth. He brought several students from Bolivar County to experience the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday. I enjoyed entertaining the students. If you'd like to see more photos from their visit, please CLICK HERE.

Friday night, Bolivar County resident, Mario Giles, and I attended the Grand Celebration & Gala for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, MS. Each of the honorees was recognized and appreciated during this awesome ceremony. Thanks to the Friends of Civil Rights Museum for their valiant efforts to honor these individuals. Also, special thanks to Co-Chairs Carlos Moore and Sonya Williams Barnes for all their hard work the past few weeks.


Here, I am photographed with Brandon Morgan (Technology Professional), Tim Lampkin (Entrepreneur and Community Coordinator), and Abe Draper (Photographer) after the Mississippi Humanities Council Ideas on Tap discussion entitled "Emerging Mississippi in Business & Enterprise." Each of these native Mississippi Deltans is helping to improve Mississippi in their own way. Thanks for your service!!!

Joe Moorehead is the new head coach at Mississippi State University. He had a meet and greet last week in Jackson, Mississippi. I told him about my time at Mississippi State while I was in graduate school. Then, I listened as he talked about how real success starts with high expectations. I am looking forward to football season in Starkville!!!

Last week, Ashely Dominique Griffin was recognized for her academic achievements during the annual HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day - Working for Academic Excellence). The Greenwood, Mississippi native is a Senior Biology and Chemistry student at Delta State University.

Wednesday morning, I got to visit with Tony G. Anderson of Renova, Mississippi at the Future Farmers of America breakfast meeting in Jackson, Mississippi. Students from all over the state came to the Capitol to show off the pride they have in agriculture.


Spencer Davis, Attorney Tony Gaylor, and I enjoyed catching up at the National NAACP President's reception this Saturday night in Jackson, Mississippi. President Derrick Johnson, Mississippi resident, was named President and CEO in October 2017. Click Here to read the USA Today article about his  recent appointment.
  I was headed to meet someone when I saw this group praying outside the Governor's Office at the Capitol. Their reverence for God was obvious, and I appreciate them taking the time to pray for our State.
  Cleveland Central High School played until the end at Callaway High School on Saturday night in Jackson, Mississippi. Though Olivia Burks was rooting for Callaway and I was pulling for Cleveland, we were glad to watch the kids play a competitive game to the finale. We ended up losing the game and Olivia rubbed it in as I was walking out of the gym. She asked me to take a photo and put the scoreboard in the background.
  Azion M.B. Church in Mound Bayou, Mississippi and Vernon Memorial Apostolic Church in Cleveland, Mississippi both had their Black History programs on Sunday. I was asked to respectively speak at each church on Sunday. Here, I am photographed with youth from each ministry. 
2018 Mississippi Legislative 
Session  (Week 8)

This week, legislators were at the Capitol Monday through Friday. Throughout the week, I had several committee meetings where we considered Senate legislation. I serve on the following committees: Agriculture, Corrections, County Affairs, Energy, Drug Policy, Ports, Harbors, & Airport, and Transportation. Six of the seven committees met last week to vote on legislation.

Additionally, Friday, February 23rd was the deadline for House appropriations and revenue bills to be introduced and passed. The House Appropriations Committee finished considering bills regarding budgets for state entities last week. However, the Ways and Means Committee still needed to approve a few bills to meet the deadline.

Although many measures cleared the deadline, most Senate versions of the same bills have not yet been considered. Both House bills and Senate bills are subject to amendment in the opposite chambers. This would result in the need for "conference committees" at the end of the session to iron out any differences. 


Legislative Deadlines
Want to view all legislative deadlines? Click Here to view deadlines. 


House Floor Action
Assistance to the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District would be provided with the passage of House Bill 1631, which allocates bond money for a flood control project in that area.

For example, House Bill 1651 would make way for more bond money to be provided for the improvement and revitalization of Mississippi's railroads. The bill also designates money for a grant that would be awarded to the North Mississippi Regional Railroad Authority. Although not in the headlines as often as roads and bridges, the state's rail system is a vital component of economic development. Railway availability is one of the first things on the checklist of industries looking for a site. House Bill 1651 passed 109-8.

Legislation proposing how much bond money should be given to state colleges, community colleges and state parks - among other things - was passed in the form of House Bill 1649.

One bill that has already made its way to the House floor from the Senate side is Senate Bill 2895, which would authorize the University of Mississippi Medical Center to remove and reinter remains found in the potter's field property where the school was planning to expand.


The House also approved Senate Bill 2043 by a vote of 117-2. The measure removes the prohibition that county veteran service officers may not hold additional elected or appointed positions.  

Senate Bill 2644, which passed unanimously, allows the executive or deputy director of the State Veterans Affairs Board to be an active member of the Armed Forces. This bill contains a "reverse repealer," which ensures that the differences in the Senate and House positions on the proposal will be ironed out in conference committee.


Bond Bill
Development and construction projects have been stymied over the past few years because bond bills were not being considered by the legislature. I am encouraged by the number of bond bills now under consideration to address serious needs for major construction across the state. Bonds can be looked at as the equivalent of "mortgages" for government. They provide the big money necessary to complete needed expensive projects, and they are paid off over time. Just like a regular homeowner, government doesn't always have the money lying around to finance building projects - even though they may be necessary. For the most part, the bond bills that passed the House during the current session have enjoyed broad bipartisan support.

Child Care Policy Update
Carol Burnett is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative. According to their research, most Mississippi moms work, but they need more affordable child care. Mississippi has a child care assistance program operated by the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS). This program offers vouchers to parents who are working in low-wage jobs where they need help pay the cost of child care. Theses vouchers don't pay the whole cost. They pay a portion of the tuition based upon a sliding fee scale set by DHS. These vouchers are hugely helpful for those parents who can get them. Unfortunately, there are too few to serve all the families who qualify. Currently, DHS reports the waiting list exceeds 21,000 children. This is in part due to state budget cuts. Mississippi failed to meet its matching requirement for federal child care assistance funds in FY 2016 which left $13 million in federal funds on the table. Click Here to follow the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative Facebook Page.

Visit, Call, or Email

I look forward to welcoming Mississippians to their State Capitol. I encourage you to come to the House gallery to watch your State Representatives in action. Want to contact a House Member? You can call the Capitol switchboard at 601-359-3770 to leave a message for a legislator. Also, you can mail your Representatives and Senators via group email at the following addresses: Representatives@house.ms.gov and Senators@senate.ms.gov. Each Representative and Senator will receive the email. Your voice matters!!!

Stay in Touch With Social Media

You can stay in touch with Abe by using social media. Follow him on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Please click the links below and be a part of what's going on in the Mississippi Delta.
 
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    Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr. | 662-522-1400www.abemhudsonjr.com

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