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: 501097

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34338538
DeSoto32117403
Hinds31939628
Jackson24494382
Rankin21995390
Lee15543235
Madison14581280
Jones13851242
Forrest13453251
Lauderdale11991317
Lowndes11050188
Lamar10521135
Pearl River9533237
Lafayette8550140
Hancock7732127
Washington7438158
Oktibbeha7146131
Monroe6777177
Warren6694176
Pontotoc6664102
Neshoba6637206
Panola6531131
Marshall6467134
Bolivar6317148
Union602894
Pike5820152
Alcorn5669101
Lincoln5436135
George496879
Scott472898
Tippah469281
Prentiss467281
Leflore4658144
Itawamba4636105
Tate4588111
Adams4587119
Copiah448592
Simpson4446116
Yazoo444187
Wayne439772
Covington428894
Sunflower4239105
Marion4226108
Coahoma4160105
Leake408288
Newton381779
Grenada3707108
Stone360364
Tishomingo359792
Attala331589
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay308076
Chickasaw300367
Clarke292494
Calhoun279446
Holmes267987
Smith264050
Yalobusha234047
Tallahatchie228051
Greene219348
Walthall218763
Lawrence212940
Perry205556
Amite205156
Webster202946
Noxubee186740
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171743
Carroll169138
Tunica159839
Benton148838
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132737
Humphreys129538
Franklin120228
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64120
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 819597

Reported Deaths: 15406
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1147901924
Mobile725791338
Madison52306697
Shelby37597350
Baldwin37245552
Tuscaloosa35101612
Montgomery34106740
Lee23526246
Calhoun22225488
Morgan20941378
Etowah19825500
Marshall18361304
Houston17384412
St. Clair16054339
Cullman15443293
Limestone15343199
Elmore15241286
Lauderdale14302295
Talladega13836283
DeKalb12649261
Walker11202370
Blount10192176
Autauga10043148
Jackson9871184
Coffee9210191
Dale8897185
Colbert8860201
Tallapoosa7084198
Escambia6772134
Covington6712183
Chilton6641162
Russell636659
Franklin5959105
Chambers5607142
Marion5005127
Dallas4973200
Pike4795106
Clarke475584
Geneva4571127
Winston4516103
Lawrence4321117
Bibb425186
Barbour357776
Marengo338090
Monroe331464
Randolph329764
Butler326396
Pickens316284
Henry312666
Hale311388
Cherokee302860
Fayette292880
Washington251551
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245275
Clay243368
Macon234663
Lamar224147
Conecuh186153
Coosa180240
Lowndes175164
Wilcox168839
Bullock151644
Perry138840
Sumter133038
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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Clear cool and dry to begin your weekend, but both afternoons should be a little bit above what we expect for this time of year temperature wise. Rain chances begin to return late Sunday night, with at least two chances for storms over the next week, summer could be strong.
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