Last week, I wrote about some of the hurdles Mississippians face in pursuing a post-secondary credential. Key to this discussion is the element of financial aid, which is often a determining factor in the decision to not only persist, but also whether they pursue a credential in the first place.
Governor Phil Bryant’s budget recommendation for FY 2015 increases state support appropriations by $283 million over the current budget yearThe twelve months of the Fiscal YearThe yearly accounting period for which budget decisions are made. The fiscal year for the state of Mississippi extends from July 1 of one year to June 30 of the next.
State lawmakers are continuing to gear up for the preparation of the 2015 state budget. Earlier this month they approved an estimate for how much revenueThe state’s income from any source. Mississippi revenue includes: tax collections, fees, and intergovernmental grants.
In my last blog, I talked about jobs of the future and how Mississippi has an opportunity to further strengthen its labor force. I also mentioned that Mississippi has a chance to more effectively incorporate high school graduates/dropouts within its workforce. This group tends to be left behind in a modernizing economy and labor market.
A longtime staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act decided to support expanding Medicaid in his state this week, adding to the list of conservatives who are having a change of heart on the issue, as advocates (as well as hospitals and other industry forces) continue to lobby hard for states to take full advantage of the federal funding provided in the ACA. At the same time, lawmakers from states including Mississippi continued their efforts to push for expansion as well. As full enactment of the law draws closer and closer, progressive lawmakers are growing bolder in their advocacy for full implementation of the ACA, and events this week signaled a clear shift in the political terrain in favor of supporters of health reform:
In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two high-profile challenges affecting states directly: Shelby County v. Holder, a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as two cases on same-sex marriage. Arguments in the Voting Rights Act case are scheduled for February 27th, while arguments in the two marriage cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, are set for late March. States and the Obama administration are already filing briefs in advance of both cases. At the same time, efforts to advance marriage equality continued this week in state legislatures including Minnesota and New Jersey:
With a Supreme Court decision and a presidential election now come and gone, conservatives in many states seem to be having second thoughts about their opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, progressive lawmakers in Iowa and Michigan signaled they were set to introduce legislation on Medicaid expansion:
As “The Year of Voter ID” continues, pushback from outraged voters in a number of venues is leading to a growing realization that these supposed efforts to maintain election integrity are actually intended to suppress the vote this November. As a result, backers of voter suppression measures are facing unexpected obstacles at both the state and federal level in their efforts to tilt the electoral scales.