Lawmakers and health experts are trying to breathe new life into a statewide smoking ban.
Photo by Courtesy Flickr/Tuppus
There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them:
- Sen. Briggs Hobson, R-Vicksburg, has introduced the Mississippi Uniform Smoke-Free Public Place Act of 2013, which bans smoking in most public places. The ban would extend to restaurants, which the proposal defines as an establishment where at least 25 percent of revenues come from selling food.
- Rep. David Gibbs, a 76-year-old Democrat from West Point, died of cancer this past Sunday. Lawmakers held a brief memorial service Thursday at the Capitol, and the funeral was 11 a.m. Saturday at Third Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in West Point.
- Faced with the possibility of a lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Pike County supervisors voted Tuesday to shut down the county juvenile detention center effective Feb. 11. Supervisors said they will make efforts to let the center's 13 employees work elsewhere for the county, while juvenile offenders will be taken to the juvenile center in Adams County.
- During Wednesday's three-hour-long debate over the latest iteration of charter-school legislation, Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, frequently voiced his opposition to the bill. Read the full story here.
- The Mississippi Film Office celebrated its 40th birthday Thursday with a special birthday cake celebration in the rotunda of the state Capitol in Jackson. Gov. Phil Bryant signed a proclamation declaring January 17 as "Mississippi Film Day."
- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Wednesday that he wants the state to resist any presidential order that might restrict gun rights. Republican Bryant made the call shortly before President Barack Obama issued 23 executive orders designed to curb gun violence.
- Mississippi settled a lawsuit Tuesday with Twin Creeks, a California solar panel company that went out of business after the state spent $27.7 million to construct a building for the business in Senatobia and buy equipment.
- A group of Democrats at a news conference Tuesday attacked a proposal to freeze cost-of-living increases for retired public employees, which Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, has said she's considering introducing as a bill.
- The state Senate Education Committee approved Senate Bill 2189 on a split vote Tuesday. Some charter school opponents attacked the committee's action because it came after Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves met privately with committee members for about an hour Monday evening.
- At least three senators introduced bills requiring 5-year-olds to attend school, and at least one House member also plans such a bill. The Education Commission of the States says Mississippi would become the 15th state to make kindergarten attendance mandatory.
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