Miss. to give $15M for Biloxi minor league stadium

Mississippi plans to use $15 million of BP oil spill recovery money to help build a minor league baseball stadium in downtown Biloxi.

Gov. Phil Bryant made the announcement Thursday.

The rest of the $35 million stadium will be paid for by up to $21 million that the city of Biloxi has agreed to borrow.

Bryant says it’s appropriate to use BP money because the stadium will enhance tourism on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, offsetting effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

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Bank sets $500 million loan fund for Miss. firms

BancorpSouth is setting aside a $500 million loan fund aimed at Mississippi businesses, saying it will work with state officials to find qualified borrowers.

Gov. Phil Bryant appeared with BancorpSouth executives to laud the move on March 28. The officials spoke at the headquarters of C Spire Wireless, citing the eight-story office building as an example of a project made possible by cooperation between BancorpSouth and a state program.

“Ensuring that businesses have access to capital is a critical element in positioning Mississippi as the top spot for economic development,” Bryant said. “I applaud BancorpSouth for taking a leadership role in this new effort.” […]

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Bryant gets bill to ban portion size restrictions

It’s up to Gov. Phil Bryant to protect the Big Gulp and the Happy Meal in Mississippi.

The House passed the final version of Senate Bill 2687 on a 92-26 vote Wednesday, March 6. It bars local governments from requiring nutritional information, restricting portion sizes, or barring toys in kids’ meals.

The bill, introduced by Picayune Republican Sen. Tony Smith, is meant to keep Mississippi cities and counties from modeling rules after cities like New York. […]


Slim chance of Medicaid expansion in Mississippi

Mississippi lawmakers can expect to be pulled in opposite directions this year on a big-dollar question of whether to expand Medicaid.

Gov. Phil Bryant and fellow Republicans who lead the House and Senate say they oppose expansion because they believe the state can’t afford to put millions more dollars into the federal-state health insurance program for the needy.

On the other side, health advocates say Mississippi – one of the poorest states in the nation – can’t afford to turn down billions of federal dollars that would come with expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010. Hospitals and other providers want lawmakers to consider the economic benefits that could come from an influx of money from Washington. […]