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Report To The People

Next Step For Jail Bill Is Full House Action In Next 10 Days

by Tommy Reynolds
Dist. 33 Rep.

The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee on Thursday, voted to report to the full House Floor, House Bill 988, which would allow the Department of Corrections to contract with Yalobusha County for a regional jail. This facility would also serve as a jail for Yalobusha County. As this Bill has been reported to the full House, it will await House action in the next 10 days.

I introduced Bill 988 earlier this year, after meeting with Mr. Bob Tyler in Jackson, and at the meeting, I arranged to have the other members of the Yalobusha delegation, who are Senator Gray Tollison, from Oxford, and Representative Sidney Bondurant, of Grenada, to attend the meeting as well, along with Chairman of the House Corrections Committee, Bennett Malone. I appreciate the support that the Corrections, and now Appropriations Committees have given to this Bill.

I attended a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, when our State Health Officer, Dr. Ed Thompson, who is head of Mississippi’s Health Department, told the Appropriations Committee that a critical shortage of nurses in the Health Department would adversely effect the public health of all Mississippians.

Dr. Thompson called for an increase in his budget for field services for the 2009 fiscal year. I strongly support more adequate funding for the Mississippi State Department of Health. This agency provides front line service in dealing with disease treatment and disease investigation. Dr. Thompson is seeking funding for 31 new public health nurses in the State and 24 nurses aides.

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee will hear from University Medical Center officials on the requested 2008-2009 Fiscal Year budget for the University Medical Center. Next week, on our calendar, the House of Representatives may consider House Bill 975, called the “High School Redesign Pilot Program”, which would develop a program to redesign Mississippi high schools to function as educational centers, and also workforce development centers.

The State Board of Education would pilot a minimum of 15 sites to be selected this year, and the State would fund additional sites in each succeeding year. The purpose of this is to assure that our Mississippi schools are graduating students who have the skills to function in today‚s competitive job market.

The House of Representatives approved House Bill 509, which would allow state inmates with property security classification to perform public service work for churches.

I have received numerous e-mails, calls and letters concerning a Senate Bill which would remove state workers from the protection of the State Personnel Board. I oppose this bill and hope that it is not passed by the House –  I feel that employees of the state should be protected from undue political interference.

If I can be of any assistance to you please call on me. My phone number in Jackson during the session is (601) 359-3365. The phone number in my Charleston office is (662) 647-3203, and my residence phone number is (662) 473-2571. I can also be contacted by writing me at my home address of 15 CR 429, Water Valley, MS 38965, or at my office address of P.O. Box 220, Charleston, MS 38921.

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