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Report to the People

Veterans Get Lower Interest Rate For Home Loans

By Tommy Reynolds

I was pleased to author HB 743 which passed the House of Representatives unanimously last week. The Bill will allow the University Medical Center to donate food to charitable organizations. Currently the University Medical Center prepares thousands of meals daily for patients and personnel and there is usually food left after the patients and University Medical Center personnel have been served each day. There is currently no state law that allows this food to be donated to charity and thus the University Medical Center has to discard the food and it is not utilized. The Bill that I introduced will allow the University Medical Center to donate this food to charities such as Gleaners or Stewpot or other non- profit organizations to distribute to those in need. It is certainly a terrible waste of resources in a time of economic hardship for food to go unused by the hungry.

The House of Representatives passed HB 934 which provides for strengthened criminal penalties for the acts of assault against school district personnel. The Bill was passed in an attempt to give protection to educational personnel throughout this state who are on the front line in educating our children. The Bill provides for fines of up to $5,000 and strengthens imprisonment penalties for assault on these personnel.

The House of Representatives voted to send to “conference” Committee between the House and Senate HB 364 which is an act to raise tobacco taxes. Each chamber has passed a different version of the Bill which would increase tobacco taxes. Negotiators between the houses will attempt to reach an agreement on the amount of the tax to be imposed as well as the use of the tax. The House of Representatives strongly supported using at least a portion of the tax to make up for recent cuts from the state to local school districts. In the next few weeks, it will be necessary for a common version of the Bill to be agreed to by both houses if the matter is to be addressed in this year’s legislative session.

The House of Representatives last week passed a bill to assist veterans to make home purchases and finance homes. The bill would lower interest rates down to 2.5 percent on certain loans offered by the State Veterans Home Purchase Board to veterans. This Agency in our state can make loans of up to $195,000 for home purchases for qualified veterans. The Veterans Home Purchase Board has reported to the legislature that at this time there is no waiting list for loans by the Agency. I am very glad to support measures designed to benefit our veterans who have so greatly benefited our country.

If I can be of any assistance to you please call on me. My number in Jackson during the session is (601) 359-3365. The number in my Charleston office is (662) 647-3203, and my residence  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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