fbpx
Connect with us

Mississippi Today

Reeves again blocks funds for LeFleur’s Bluff project in Jackson

Published

on

mississippitoday.org – Bobby Harrison – 2024-05-15 10:02:34

For the third consecutive year legislative efforts to direct state money to renovate LeFleur's Bluff in Jackson have been stymied, thanks in large part to Gov. Tate Reeves.

Earlier this week, the Republican governor vetoed a portion of a bill that directed $14 million to the office of Secretary of State Michael Watson for work on developing and improving a nature trail connecting parks and museums and making other tourism-related improvements in the LeFleur's Bluff area.

It is not clear whether the could take up the veto during the 2025 , which begins in January, though, that's not likely. The Legislature had the option to return to Jackson Tuesday to take up any veto, but chose not to do so.

Advertisement

Of the , Watson said, “Our office was approached late in the session about helping with a project to revitalize LeFleur's Bluff. As Mississippi's state commissioner, I was more than happy to help this effort not just because it's a natural fit for our office, but also because I believe Mississippi needs a thriving capital to retain our best and brightest. Investing state funds in state property on a project to enhance the quality of life in Jackson makes good sense.

“Unfortunately, some only it when it equates to campaign contributions. Sadly, through the line-item veto of the appropriation, Mississippians will once again wait another year for the opportunity to benefit from state investments for the greater public good.”

READ MORE: Gov. Reeves warns Mississippi: Challenge my vetoes, and it could jeopardize hundreds of projects

Various groups, such as representatives of the Mississippi Children's Museum and many other community leaders have been working on the project for years. The area already is the home of the Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History, Mississippi Hall of Fame and Museum and a state park.

Advertisement

The issues with LeFleur's Bluff first arose in 2022 when Reeves vetoed a $14 million appropriation that in part was designed to redesign and create a new golf course in the area. Previously, there had been a nine-hole, state-owned golf course operated by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks at LeFleur's Bluff State Park.

In 2022, the LeFleur's Bluff project was one of literally hundreds of projects funded by the Legislature – many of which was tourism projects like LeFleur's Bluff. The governor only vetoed a handful of those projects.

When issuing the LeFleur's  Bluff veto, Reeves said the state should not be involved in funding golf courses.

Then last year $13 million was directed to the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to spend on the LeFleur's Bluff project. But legislative leaders said state money would not go toward a golf course.

Advertisement

Lawmakers opted to transfer the project to the Secretary of State's office late in the 2024 session, apparently in part because they felt the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks had not made enough of an effort to begin the project.

Lynn Posey, executive director of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, said that before moving forward with the project, “We felt like we needed to do engineering work and see what the situation was. We never got a to move forward” because the Legislature redirected the money.

Posey said an engineer's report was needed because “it is a unique piece of land.” He said much of the land is prone to .

He said before that work could begin the Legislature switched the authority to the Secretary of State's office. Posey was appointed to his current position by Reeves, whose office had no comment on the veto.

Advertisement

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said after the governor's veto, “Projects like the LeFleur's Bluff development are critical to the Capital City, the wider metropolitan area, and our state. Public parks add to the quality of life for our citizens. I am hopeful the individuals involved in this project, including those at the Mississippi Children's Museum, will continue their work to improve this state asset.” 

While the Constitution instructs the governor to provide to the Legislature a reason for any veto, Reeves did not do so this year when vetoing the money going to the Secretary of State's office.

On Monday, the governor also vetoed a portion of another bill dealing with appropriations for specific projects. But in this case, the veto was more of a technicality. The bill was making corrections to language passed in previous sessions. In that language were five projects the governor vetoed in 2022.

The language, as it was written, would not have revived those previously vetoed projects, the governor said. But Reeves said he vetoed the five projects out of caution. He did the same in 2023 when those five projects, which included money appropriated in 2022 for the Russell C. Davis Planetarium in Jackson, were carried forward in a bill also making corrections to previously passed legislation.

Advertisement

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Mississippi Today

6,000 U.S. doctors urge the Supreme Court to keep abortions in medical emergencies legal

Published

on

mississippitoday.org – Shefali Luthra, The 19th – 2024-05-22 13:24:05

Originally published by The 19th

Nearly 6,000 , hailing from all 50 states, have drafted a letter asking the Supreme Court to uphold a federal law that requires hospital emergency departments to abortions when they are needed to stabilize patients.

Advertisement

The letter, organized by the left-leaning Committee to Protect and shared first with The 19th, concerns the case Idaho v. United States, which the high court heard in April.

In that case, the federal government has argued that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act — a 1986 law known as EMTALA — requires that hospitals participating in the federal Medicare program provide abortions if doing so is the necessary treatment in an emergency. Idaho has contested that interpretation, and argued that its -level abortion ban supersedes federal law. Idaho's current ban allows an exception only if the procedure will save the life of the pregnant person, but not if it will otherwise preserve their

“We know firsthand how complications from pregnancy can lead very quickly to a medical crisis, requiring immediate care and treatment,” states the letter, which was signed by doctors across specialties whose abilities to provide care could be affected by a ban, oncology, emergency medicine and anesthesiology. “These patients' complications can range from a miscarriage to heavy bleeding, from placental abruption to a stroke from severe preeclampsia – and doctors and health professionals in emergency departments must be to use the full range of medical options to save these patients' lives, including abortion.”

The case is one of two abortion-related challenges the court has heard this term, and one of the first since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in the 2022 decision Dobbs v. Women's Health Organization. A decision is expected this June. 

Advertisement

The court has held that, while this case is pending, the federal government cannot enforce EMTALA in Idaho. As a result, patients in the midst of medical emergencies have flown to Utah — the next closest state with abortion access — to receive treatment.

Abortions that would be covered by EMTALA constitute only a tiny fraction of terminations performed in the United States. Still, the case has sparked tremendous concern among physicians. 

“If someone is a crisis and part of the treatment involves an abortion — or any procedure or intervention that might be deemed an abortion by a prosecutor down the road — that is something we shouldn't have to think about,” said Dr. Rob Davidson, a Michigan-based emergency physician and the committee's executive director. “When I have a pregnant woman having a crisis, my first call should be to an OB, and not a lawyer.”

It's not clear how the Supreme Court will rule, but their decision could have implications well beyond abortion. Already, the fear of violating strict abortion bans has deterred aspiring and practicing physicians from setting up in states with such laws — particularly in Idaho, which has seen an exodus of maternal-fetal medicine specialists in the almost two years since Roe's fall. Physicians in the state worry a court finding in favor of Idaho might exacerbate that trend. 

Advertisement

Legal scholars say that if the court finds EMTALA does not protect abortion as one form of emergency medical care, states could subsequently restrict other treatments — undercutting the law's core holding that patients who present at emergency rooms are guaranteed to at least receive stabilizing treatment.

“The basis of Dobbs is states have the power to regulate medical care. If you extend that to EMTALA, you open up EMTALA to whatever drama a state wants to play out in its emergency rooms,” Sara Rosenbaum, a professor emerita of health law and policy at George Washington University who has written extensively about EMTALA, told The 19th last month.

This could theoretically include prohibiting hospitals from providing emergency care for patients with HIV or substance use disorder — treatment they would ordinarily be required to provide.

“What if someone says, ‘We don't believe in harm reduction programs for opioid use disorder, so we don't think we should provide naloxone kits when patients leave the ER?'” Davidson asks. “This is bad enough that I don't have to imagine what could happen next, or what else they could carve out. But you're opening a Pandora's box.”

Advertisement

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Continue Reading

Mississippi Today

FBI raids Hinds County DA’s business, office

Published

on

mississippitoday.org – Jerry Mitchell – 2024-05-22 11:01:00

On Wednesday morning, the FBI raided a cigar business owned by District Attorney Jody Owens II as well as his office at the courthouse.

Cigar Company is located just blocks from the Hinds County Courthouse, where Owens serves as prosecutor.

“The FBI is executing federal search warrants at multiple locations,” FBI spokeswoman Marshay Lawson said in a statement. “The affidavit in of the search warrants has been sealed by the court, and so I am prohibited from commenting further. There is no threat to public safety.”

Advertisement

Owens was not available at his office and did not return emails or phone calls.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Continue Reading

Crooked Letter Sports Podcast

Podcast: Tournament time for Mississippi baseball.

Published

on

The SEC Tournament is underway in Birmingham. The Sun Belt Tournament has begun in Montgomery. And, closer to home, the MHSAA Tournament has begun at Trustmark in Pearl. The Cleveland have on all of it, but not before Tyler tells his dad, “See, I told you so.”

Stream all episodes here.


This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Milk

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.biloxinewsevents.com/?p=360716

Advertisement
Continue Reading

News from the South

Trending