Mississippi takes up a great deal of the national spotlight

Published 7:34 pm Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mississippi seems to be in the midst of the national spotlight this week.

Earlier this week, longtime U.S. Senator Thad Cochran announced he will not seek another term and will resign from the U.S. Senate on April 1, which sent shockwaves through Washington D.C. and a wave of potential candidates ready to fill his seat.

The Republican, who has been serving in Congress since 1972, cited health issues for the reason he will not serve out his current term. Gov. Phil Bryant will appoint a successor and a special election will be held in November on the same ballot that will elect Mississippi’s other U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Roger Wicker.

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The Mississippi Legislature moved a step closer to allowing teachers and school personnel to arm themselves on school grounds after the state Senate voted 27-18 Wednesday to pass House Bill 1083. Sen. Briggs Hopson, R-Vicksburg, made it clear the prospect of having more guns in schools is not something he likes, but believes it’s necessary.

“This is not mandatory. There is no requirement that they (school districts) do this,” Hopson said.

The move comes in light of the Valentine’s Day killing of 17 students and faculty at a high school in Parkland, Florida, by a former student.

The bill is now in the Mississippi House for more debate.

Mississippi lawmakers have sent a bill to Bryant to ban abortions after 15 weeks. The Senate passed the measure Tuesday and the House overwhelming voted in favor of the measure Thursday. Bryant has indicated he will sign the legislation into law, making it the most restrictive abortion law in the nation, which will likely be challenged in court.

It has certainly been quite a week for the Magnolia State and all indications are the weeks ahead will be even more interesting.