I'm back in the office a bit today, and here's a round up of the stories that I've missed while out:
- When the history of this session is written, the most important story of it will be Medicaid expansion. House Democrats have pulled the biggest political power play since the 2011 redistricting battle in forcing Republicans into the following position: either have an open floor debate about Medicaid expansion or don't have Medicaid. There was doubt early on as to whether House Democrats would stick together, but they certainly have. Rep. Bobby Moak (D - Bogue Chitto), has emerged as a very effective leader for the House Democrats, who have proved they are still a major force in the Legislature when they stay united.
- Gov. Phil Bryant (R) named anti-abortion activist Terri Herring as his nominee to fill a position on the State Board of Health being vacated by Ellen Williams of Senatobia. While everyone was distracted by Herring's maniacal positions on reproduction, the AP looked at the statute and a map, and figured out that Herring, by law, couldn't serve. Bryant withdrew her name, avoiding what would have been a contentious confirmation battle.
- In reference to the above, the State Board of Health is made up of 11 people, a minority of whom have to be physicians. Am I the only person who sees something wrong with that?
- Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has conceded that "C" districts, in addition to those gaining scores of "A" and "B", will have veto power over charter school startups within their districts, and that has apparently broken the logjam over charter schools legislation. The House, just minutes ago, approved the conference committee report that would allow up to 15 new charter schools each year in "D" and "F" districts.
- Jackson has been named the worst city for people with spring allergies. That's no surprise. When you've been blessed with a botanical and agricultural bounty like ours, there's a downside.