Articles by Emily Wagster Pettus

Mississippi Governor to Sign Religious Practices Bill Opposed by Civil Rights, Gay Groups

Mississippi lawmakers on Tuesday passed the final version of a bill that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices, a measure that sparked debate about possible discrimination against gay people and other groups. An …

Maker of 3-Wheeled Vehicle Seeks Exemption from Mississippi Helmet Law

A company that plans to make a three-wheeled vehicle is seeking a change in Mississippi’s helmet law. Elio Motors wants Mississippi to specify that a helmet won’t be required in its “autocycle,” an enclosed motorcycle with two wheels in front …

Workers’ Compensation Called Bar to Ex-Felons Getting Jobs in Mississippi

Mississippi lawmakers say they want to reduce the number of former inmates who return to prison after serving time. However, one state representative said ex-felons could have trouble finding jobs because of workers’ compensation insurance policies that companies carry. Many …

137,800 in Mississippi Fall in Health Insurance ‘Coverage Gap’

A new study shows 137,800 low-income Mississippians fall into a health insurance “coverage gap.” They’re currently uninsured. They earn too much to enroll in Medicaid but too little to qualify for government subsidies that would reduce their cost of buying …

Mississippi Insurance Chief Sues to Halt Flood Insurance Rate Hikes

The Mississippi Department of Insurance has filed a lawsuit against the federal government to try to block rates from increasing Oct. 1 in the National Flood Insurance Program. State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said that unless something changes, some customers …

Mississippi Auto Body Shops Ask Court to Halt State Farm’s Parts-Finder System

More than two dozen body shops are asking a Mississippi court to block an insurance company’s program that would change the way they find auto parts. The Mississippi Collision Repair Association and the body shops filed a lawsuit Wednesday in …

Mississippi Governor to Sign DUI Ignition Lock Bill

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant intends to sign a bill aimed at strengthening laws against drunken driving, his spokesman said Monday. The response from the Republican governor came the same day the American Beverage Institute, based in Washington, D.C., urged Bryant …

Mississippi Insurance Chief Wants State-Run Health Exchange, Not Partnership

After blocking Mississippi’s proposal for a state-run health insurance exchange because of divisions among state leaders on the plan, federal officials said Friday that they’re encouraging the state to seek approval for a partnership — an exchange jointly run by …

Entire Mississippi Delegation Urged to Support Sandy Disaster Relief

A Democratic Mississippi lawmaker said he’s filing a resolution that urges Mississippi’s entire congressional delegation to support federal spending for Hurricane Sandy recovery. The resolution by Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis isn’t expected to mention Republican U.S. Rep. …

Mississippi Governor, Insurance Chief At Odds Over Health Insurance Exchange

Mississippi’s proposed health insurance exchange is in limbo because of a dispute between the governor and the insurance commissioner. Gov. Phil Bryant and Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, both Republicans, disagree about which of them has authority to create a plan …