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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: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19601229
Hinds18712386
Harrison16569277
Rankin12637263
Jackson12483219
Lee9671160
Madison9420196
Jones7914146
Forrest7159136
Lauderdale6798226
Lowndes6014137
Lamar585880
Lafayette5716113
Washington5182129
Bolivar4599121
Oktibbeha440391
Panola428392
Pearl River4138128
Warren4122113
Pontotoc408068
Marshall400392
Monroe3981126
Union393673
Neshoba3777167
Lincoln3491100
Hancock341674
Leflore3363118
Sunflower317385
Tate301574
Pike299193
Scott292868
Alcorn290760
Itawamba289072
Yazoo284962
Coahoma276367
Tippah276165
Copiah276057
Simpson272778
Prentiss268858
Leake252171
Marion251578
Wayne251541
Covington248278
Grenada246277
Adams233377
George231145
Newton226352
Winston221375
Jasper212744
Tishomingo211965
Attala206369
Chickasaw200851
Holmes181770
Clay178250
Stone171829
Tallahatchie170039
Clarke168971
Calhoun157128
Smith152431
Yalobusha143536
Greene127233
Walthall123640
Noxubee122829
Perry121434
Montgomery121338
Lawrence119521
Carroll117923
Amite110932
Webster110030
Jefferson Davis101231
Tunica98823
Claiborne97929
Benton93324
Humphreys92427
Kemper89623
Quitman77114
Franklin75619
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61927
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491849

Reported Deaths: 9869
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson707641366
Mobile35937724
Madison32307450
Tuscaloosa24024410
Montgomery22502499
Shelby21848214
Baldwin19698277
Lee14926151
Morgan13624251
Calhoun13202285
Etowah13154319
Marshall11243208
Houston10058259
Limestone9348134
Elmore9345182
Cullman8879179
St. Clair8799221
Lauderdale8588210
DeKalb8436174
Talladega7500163
Walker6509251
Jackson6483102
Autauga622890
Blount6084125
Colbert6004118
Coffee5235102
Dale4627106
Russell402930
Franklin398876
Covington3949106
Chilton386298
Escambia377472
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke343149
Chambers3399108
Dallas3397141
Pike292972
Lawrence282284
Marion281295
Winston246266
Bibb244560
Geneva238870
Marengo233755
Pickens223954
Barbour210651
Hale209068
Fayette199956
Butler195265
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe166038
Randolph163140
Washington156334
Crenshaw144054
Clay143454
Macon141643
Cleburne137139
Lamar132432
Lowndes130749
Wilcox121425
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105427
Sumter98331
Coosa88623
Greene87132
Choctaw54923
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