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Tease photo City & County

Lumumba Rocks the House at Mayoral Debate

Chokwe Lumumba was a clear winner of Friday's night mayoral debate at Mississippi College School of Law.

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What Is White Privilege?

The problem with white privilege is that those who enjoy it usually don't know it, or want to know.

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Tease photo Politics

Hinds D.A. Seeks to Stop Open-Carry Law

Some Mississippi lawmakers want to prevent a new law from going into effect that will permit Mississippians to openly carry firearms.

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June 27, 2013

Miss. House Approves $840m Medicaid Bill

By R.L. Nave

Mississippi House Democrats didn't quite get the Medicaid expansion they wanted, but are declaring victory in sort of getting a debate on the subject.

In the end, after a couple of attempts to expand ways for more citizens to receive health insurance coverage, a $841 million Medicaid appropriation bill passed overwhelmingly, 115-1.

After the Legislature adjourned this spring without renewing the existing Medicaid program, Gov. Phil Bryant called a special session this week for lawmakers to reauthorize and fund Medicaid in its current form.

Democrats repeatedly blocked efforts to reauthorize Medicaid to force a floor debate on the issue of growing the Medicaid rolls to include 330,000 more people.

Despite the narrow scope of Bryant's special session call that was limited to re-authorization and funding of the existing Medicaid program, House Democrats offered amendments to expand Medicaid. When the House debated House Bill 1, which establishes the Division of Medicaid, Democrats tried to amend the bill to create a state-based health-care exchange. The federal government rejected Mississippi's plan for an exchange, meaning that the feds will will create one on the state's behalf.

Democrats pointed out the irony of the Republican leadership's anti-Obamacare posture as reason for standing in the way of Medicaid expansion while an intra-party spat between Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney and Bryant forced the feds to take over the state's exchange.

Democrats implored their colleagues to support the health-exchange amendment. Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson, got choked speaking about her single working mother who "no matter what would not let her health insurance go."

HB 1 passed on a party-line vote but is being held on a motion to reconsider. Later, lawmakers took up the second part of the governor's special session call, a bill to fund the Medicaid program. Democrats again attempted to amend the bill to expand Medicaid.

"These are people who through no fault of their own don't have health insurance," said Rep. Bob Evans, D-Monticello. "These aren't deadbeats."

Despite shutting down expansion discussion earlier in the session because it was not germane to the issue at hand, Speaker Philip Gunn allowed Democrats to speak in favor of expansion.

Despite being unsuccessful, House Democrats chalked the session up as a victory because their side was able to argue for Medicaid expansion.

The Senate also convened but took no substantive action, pending the outcome of votes in the House.

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Politics

Miss. Supreme Court Won't Undo Block on Gun Law

The Mississippi Supreme Court says it won't undo a circuit judge's order that's blocking an open-carry gun law from taking effect.

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Tease photo Civil Rights

In Delbert We Trust?

If there existed a university devoted to voter suppression and disenfranchisement before the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Mississippi would have graduated with Latin honors.

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National

Texas House Committee Approves Abortion Rules

Texas Republicans voted early Wednesday to move forward with new abortion restrictions, after limiting testimony at a public hearing, refusing to consider Democratic amendments and imposing strict security precautions to ...

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Editorial

Open-Carry Laws Will Test Lumumba

One of the most interesting things in Mayor Chokwe Lumumba's administration of Jackson will be how he manages the Jackson Police Department.

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Politics

Many Miss. Public Buildings Ban Open Carry of Guns

Even if Mississippi's open-carry gun law takes effect, people still won't be allowed to take firearms into the Capitol or many other state or local government buildings.

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Tease photo City & County

JPD: Homicides Way Down, Carjackings Way Up

A steady downward trend in major crimes in the capitol city continues, with one notable exception: carjackings.

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Editorial

Yarber Made Fine Council President

The Jackson City Council raised eyebrows last week by voting to replace Councilman Tony Yarber, Ward 6, with Councilman Charles Tillman, Ward 5, as council president.

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Tease photo City & County

Council Approves Hardwick

On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved the nomination of attorney June Hardwick to serve as a judge in Jackson's municipal court.

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Tease photo Civil Rights

Jackson Rally Calls for Militant Pursuit of Equality

Jackson's Day of Dignity coincided with the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, but the Day of Dignity was less about commemorating the historical ...

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Tease photo Person of the Day

Deja Abdul-Haqq

Deja Abdul-Haqq—environmental and policy manager at My Brother's Keeper, Inc.—is devoted to addressing health and nutritional disparities in Mississippi.

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Tease photo City & County

Community Leaders: Keep Homeless Shelters Open

This morning, representatives from Mississippi MOVE and Mu Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity met at Matt Devenney Emergency Shelter, or Matt's House, to ask for community support in ...