Capitol Connection 2014

Dr. Chuck Harding and Awake America is sponsoring the second annual Capitol Connection, March 10-12, 2014 in Washington, DC.  Last year’s inaugural event brought 480 Christian leaders to connect with their elected leaders.

At this year’s Capitol Connection learn about our country’s rich Christian heritage, meet your elected officials, and hear great preaching from Dr. David Gibbs, Jr., Dr. Paul Chappell, Pastor Don Strange, Pastor Rick Sowell and more!

Conference Schedule:

  • Monday:  Evening Service, 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday:  Visit to Capitol Hill; Evening Service, 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday:  Christian Heritage Tour; Evening Service, 7:00 PM

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MS House approves “strike teams”

Mississippi House voted 69-48 to approve House Bill 749, the “Statewide Law Enforcement Strike Team Act,” to create three statewide law enforcement strike teams.  An initiative of Gov. Phil Bryant, the strike teams will be under the authority of the state Attorney General (currently Jim Hood) and will be composed of 12-15 municipal, county, and/or state law enforcement members on loan from their local jurisdictions and chosen by the AG.  The strike teams will be geographically distributed throughout the northern, central, and southern areas of the state in each of the 3 Supreme Court districts (to become known as “strike zones”).

Republicans and Democrats are concerned about the possible abuse of police power and government overreach.  Some argue that strike teams are necessary to support local law enforcement efforts in high crime areas.  Proponents say that about $1.5 million will be spent on overtime and equipment.

The bill was authored by Rep. Mark Baker (R-74).   Of the South Mississippi Representatives (see listing), only Sonya Williams-Barnes (D-119)David Baria (D-122), and Randall H. Patterson (D-115) voted against the bill which moves to the Senate where a similar bill was unable to get out of committee.

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8-Years After Katrina, Biloxi Projects Yet to Start

Biloxi infrastructure repairs and upgrades contracted from FEMA’s $355 million post-Katrina grant to the city have yet to start.  Among the remaining improvements are several miles of storm drains and sewer and water lines  in Biloxi’s residential and commercial areas, particularly Ward 1 and Ward 2.

Biloxi council president Paul Tisdale and other council members expressed concern that several projects were taking too long and that the contractor, HNTB, was not making satisfactory progress.  Tisdale also acknowledged that the work will be very intrusive but city operations must continue.

Biloxi withheld HNTB’s latest invoice due to concerns about the completion timeline.

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Legislature taking action on more gun-related initiatives

In a previous post, House Bill 314 was introduced as the state legislature’s attempt to prevent local and county jurisdictions from limiting concealed and open carry rights in Mississippi.  The bill also would prohibit public housing authorities from preventing tenants from owning firearms.

The House Judiciary Committees have moved forward on several gun rights bills and it appears that proponents of HB 314 have added the provisions of at least two other House Bills:  HB 485 and HB 705.

  • HB 485:  Prohibits tax-payer funded gun buy-back and destruction programs,
  • HB 705:  Prevents the confiscation of legal weapons and/or ammunition in the event of a state of emergency or if martial law is declared in Mississippi.

House Bill 705 includes provisions of HB 708 and HB 1385:

  • HB 708:  Prohibits confiscation of legally owned firearms
  • HB 1385:  Prevents firearms confiscated in natural disasters

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Mississippi Senate Passes Bill to “Trust God”

Mississippi State SealThe State Senate passed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Senate Bill 2681) on January 31st.

The Clarion-Ledger reported that “The Mississippi Senate voted Friday to add “In God We Trust” to the state seal, as requested by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.”  Currently, the state seal only states “The Great Seal of the State of Mississippi” and is pictured to the left.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Phillip A. Gandy (R-43) who is also the Senior Pastor of Liberty Baptist Church of Waynesboro.  The bill was passed unanimously (48-0, 4 absentees).

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