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Report To The People

House Votes Overwhelmingly To Allow State Corrections To Contract With Yalobusha

By Tommy Reynolds

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 988, which I introduced, by a vote of 114 to 5. This bill would allow the Department of Corrections to contract with Yalobusha County for a regional jail and would provide a county jail for Yalobusha County. This would of course be discretionary with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, but would allow the contract to be made if the Bill passes the Senate, and is signed into law by the Governor, and the selection is made by the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

I supported House Bill 1013, which passed the House of Representatives last week, to provide funds for the Mississippi Medicaid Program. Medicaid provides the basic health insurance program for hundreds of thousands of Mississippians, including many thousands in nursing homes, and supports our hospitals and medical providers around the State. There is a severe gap in Medicaid funding. The Governor is proposing that an assessment be made on hospitals to cover the shortfall in Medicaid funds. The State Hospital Association very much opposes any further or additional assessments being placed on hospitals, and indicates that any assessments placed on hospitals will, of course, be passed on to the sick who receive hospital care. Many of our hospitals around the State are operating on a very thin margin, and I do not wish to jeopardize the position of any of our health care providers or hospitals in our State. House Bill 1013 would close the gap in Medicaid funding by raising the Mississippi excise tax on cigarettes, rather than assess more tax on hospitals.

Mississippi has one of the most favorable match rates for Medicaid funding of any state in the nation. For every 25 cents the State puts into the Program, it receives approximately 75 cents in funds from the Federal Government.

The House of Representatives passed House Bill 737 to create a Task Force on Under-performing Schools and School Districts, and hopefully to come up with methods to improve the educational effectiveness of such schools. The Bill will require both high and low level schools to be examined.

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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