BREAKING NEWS Coroner: 1 man dead in fatal motel shooting Full Story

Changing driver's license rules could risk federal money

MGN Online

Transportation officials said Tuesday that Mississippi could lose millions of federal dollars because of a bill affecting the suspension of driver's licenses.

Posted: Mar 6, 2019 10:07 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Transportation officials said Tuesday that Mississippi could lose millions of federal dollars because of a bill affecting the suspension of driver's licenses.

Senators said they will try to address those concerns and avoid the problem. House Bill 1352 seeks to ease some penalties for people accused or convicted of nonviolent crimes, and to create a smoother process for wiping some crimes from a person's record.

The bill would prohibit the state from revoking a driver's license simply because a person fails to pay fines. The state also would no longer suspend a driver's license for a drug charge that is not related to operating a vehicle.

Mississippi Department of Transportation director Melinda McGrath and department attorney Judy Martin appeared Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary A Committee. Martin said the federal government has a mandatory six-month driver's license suspension for drug offenses. She said she thinks the bill could put the state out of compliance, risking the loss of $36.5 million a year in federal transportation money.

Martin also said a portion of the bill dealing with commercial driver's licenses could put Mississippi at risk of losing $14 million the first year and $28 million a year after that.

Republican Sen. David Parker of Olive Branch tried unsuccessfully to kill the bill during the committee meeting. He said he has "extreme concerns" that it would allow people to end a driver's license suspension too soon after being charged with drunken driving. He spoke of some girls in north Mississippi who were killed years ago by a man with multiple drunken driving charges.

Democratic Sen. Juan Barnett of Heidelberg said the bill attempts to help people who need "a second chance at life" after being convicted of nonviolent crimes. The bill moves to the full Senate for more debate, and is likely to then head into a final round of negotiations between the House and Senate.

"We are smart enough and we are more than capable to make good legislation out of this," Barnett said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 81°
Columbus
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 81°
Oxford
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 79°
Starkville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 79°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather