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Monday, February 13, 2006

PRESS CLIPPINGS: Monday, February 13, 2006

1. The House passed an bill outlawing human cloning and stem cell research.
Stem cell bill - The Clarion-Ledger:
Blatantly pandering to the radical right of the pro-life movement, the House of Representatives passed a bill to outlaw human cloning in the state. But the real intent of the bill had precious little to do with cloning.
2. Agnew looks at a bill that will study a revitalization project for the Delta.
Must Delta's future look just like its past? - The Clarion-Ledger:
Nearly 21 years after leaving a reporting stint in the Mississippi Delta, I remain stumped about the contradictions that abound in the region.

It is a place of beauty and disaster, majestic homes, fertile land and the kindest people in this country.

Flip the coin, and tears roll uncontrollably down my face, spilling out when I try with great might to contain them. The poverty that continues to define the Delta is of such a vicious nature. It is so engrained in the culture that now it is hardly noticed.
3. Hampton explains the C-L's change of mind over sheriffs having radar.
Radar redux: What we have here is a failure to communicate - The Clarion-Ledger:
The Clarion-Ledger did something rare this past week - it changed its position on an issue it has editorialized against for years.

This newspaper has traditionally opposed the use of radar by county sheriff's departments. In the grand scheme of things, whether sheriffs run radar to catch speeders has not been a big item on the state's agenda, but it is one that has been a longtime irritant to county law officers. It's one that comes up in the Legislature every year and seldom gets much hearing. This year is different.

The bill was approved by the state Senate last week after sheriffs made a strong case before state lawmakers.

A group of sheriffs made the same case to us, as well.
4. Salter talks about immigration reform and the growing Hispanic population. I saw some of these protesters. Their signs were borderline racist in attacking a group of people. It's as if some in the immigration debate talk about the Hispanic population as if they are some sort of sub-human race of dirty animal. Such an approach is sad, pathetic, ignorant and racist. Period.
State has population rank that illuminates - The Clarion-Ledger:
Protesters on the grounds of the Capitol this week were lambasting state legislators who killed some 16 different bills aimed at illegal immigrants - bills that would have prohibited undocumented students from attending in-state colleges or doing contruction work under state contracts.

Some of those protesters told a Jackson TV station that they wanted Gov. Haley Barbour to reintroduce the legislation in a special session. Pro-immigrant groups have already protested against attempts to pass punitive legislation targeting undocumented foreign workers and their families.

But the numbers suggest that Mississippi had better begin taking the issue of illegal immigration and undocumented workers seriously.

Why? Because if current population trends continue, the word "minority" may take on a whole new connotation for white Mississippians - particularly those who still suffer from that paralyzing, hateful disease called xenophobia.
5. The education funding debate has begun, but it likely won't be settled for several weeks.
House, Senate disagree on education funding changes -
JACKSON - The House and Senate have passed differing versions of how to revamp the Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding formula, and the matter probably will not be resolved until near the end of the session.

The result will affect education funding for years to come.

"I hope we come up with a fair system to distribute funds to the school systems of the state," said House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown, D-Jackson.
6. It's nice to see Republicans getting organized in the House. Democrats already have a similar caucus in the House and have just started one in the Senate. The work of these two groups will help elect good Democrats to the Legislature in 2007.
The Sun Herald | 02/12/2006 | Republicans test power of caucus:
One night last week, a new caucus was born.

House Republicans, I'm told, voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to create a caucus, although details of exactly how it will operate and who will run it apparently remain to be determined.

They say they are not going to try to undermine or topple Democratic House Speaker Billy McCoy's authority. They say they won't demand block voting, try to split committees, oust incumbents or force waffling Dems to switch parties. It's unclear whether the caucus would replace the already caucus-like Conservative Coalition. This all begs the question: What, exactly, will this caucus do?


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