Mississippi governor lauds state's resiliency; looks to eliminate income tax

Gov. Tate Reeves delivered his second State of the State Address Tuesday afternoon in Jackson.

Posted: Jan 26, 2021 4:20 PM
Updated: Jan 26, 2021 4:58 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - In his second State of the State Address, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves put a spotlight on Mississippians’ resiliency and their ability to overcome hardships they faced in 2020 and continue to face in 2021.

Mississippians faced tornadoes, hurricanes last year and continue to battle the coronavirus.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves delivered his State of the State Address on Jan. 26, 2021.

“As we saw on Easter Sunday, this is a state of people who won’t let a tornado leave the ground before arriving with chainsaws to clear their neighbors’ land. As we saw after [Hurricane] Zeta, it is a state of people who won’t let the waves of a hurricane rush back to the sea before ensuring their neighbor has food and warmth. We are a state of people who step up, time and again, and have exceeded all expectations this year.”

“We’ve been cautious, never panicked,” he said of the pandemic. “We’ve been safe, but not stubborn. Life cannot be lived in perpetual idleness and isolation. We realized that, and we’ve adapted our plans throughout the year--responding swiftly when the spread was most severe and opening up whenever it is possible.”

In his address, the governor said despite the pandemic, the state’s economy grew year-over-year.

“We were the third-best state in the country for job recovery. We had more tourism spending return than any other state in the country--we were number one!”

He credits Mississippians' desire to work.

Reeves looked to the future and said Mississippi cannot stay content with its current position.

“I don’t want to compete with the Mississippi of the last fifty years. I don’t want to compete with Mississippi of the last decade. I don’t want to compete with Mississippi of last year. I want to compete with the best--Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas. Because I know we can compete, and I know we can win.”

To move Mississippi’s economy and workforce forward, Reeves said Mississippi “must think big” and needs a “bold move.”

“This is the time for an action that will turn heads all across the country and get money and people flowing in. And I believe that move is the elimination of the income tax. It is a reward for our hard workers, and an incentive for others to invest here, to grow here, and to live here.”

Mississippi lawmakers are currently in the process of giving teachers a pay raise. Reeves said he’ll be eager to sign any raise that lawmakers send him.

“Our teachers have earned it. It’s the right way to invest.”

Currently, Mississippi, like much of America, is trying to deliver as many vaccines to Mississippians as possible and available.

"Last weekend, we celebrated 100,000 vaccines delivered. That took us about six weeks. We’ve done another 100,000 vaccinations since then, and as we speak we are likely delivering our 200,000th vaccine! That’s because we refused to accept a slow pace--we went from the worst state in the country at the beginning of the process to operating at peak capacity."

The governor said vaccinations are his number one priority.

"I promise that we will smash every roadblock. We will get this done as safely and quickly as we possibly can, and allow people to protect themselves from the virus. It is my most immediate priority, and I assure you it has my full attention."

Lastly, Reeves said his personal goal is to "cultivate more empathy."

"We’ll always have spirited debate and disagreement. You can fight for what you believe in, while honoring the man or woman on the other side. Above all we have to understand that every Mississippian--every American--is on the same team. We all want to be treated with grace. And we’re all made in the image of a perfect God. So, my goal is to act like it."

Open this link to read his full speech.

Open this link to watch his full speech.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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Columbus
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A few showers linger early in the morning. But these should gradually push away from our area, leaving us mostly cloudy and cool through the midday and afternoon hours. Some clearing may occur later in the afternoon, leaving us mostly clear by Thursday morning.
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