3/1/21 - Jackson Water Crisis Continues | New Vaccine & COVID Case Rise | Tax Plan Analysis: Part 1


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The water crisis in the Capital City continues as residents face prolonged outages. City officials weigh in.

Then, the coronavirus vaccination rollout accelerates following delays brought on by last month’s winter storm.

Plus, an analysis of the Mississippi Tax Freedom Act.

Segment 1:

Residents in parts of the capital city have been without running water for nearly two weeks. Jackson's water treatment plants were unable to operate during last month’s winter storm, and many pipes froze. City officials expected to have the water pressure stabilized and restored over the weekend, instead they say the system crashed and lost pressure. Charles Williams, Director of Public Works, and Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba address a series of issues causing the delay in restoration.

Segment 2:

Mississippians may soon have another option for a coronavirus vaccine that only requires one shot. The new Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the FDA. State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says the introduction of a new vaccine could create a higher total allocation of shots, and give residents a choice.

Mississippi's vaccination effort was in rebound mode last week after severe winter weather shut down many of the health department's drive through vaccination sites. The storm also slowed down testing throughout the state. Health officials say canceled vaccination appointments were made up smoothly and the rollout remains efficient. But cases of COVID-19 ticked up last week after a period of steady decline. Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says he is worried there could be some complacency among residents, and warns of a potential rise nationwide.

Segment 3:

Last week, House Republicans introduced the Mississippi Tax Freedom Act - a comprehensive tax reform bill that would eliminate the personal income tax, reduce the grocery tax, and raise the sales tax. Advocates say the reform plan will create new economic opportunities in the state, but some analysts say the plan could be ineffective. Meg Wiehe (We-He) is Deputy Executive Director at the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy. In part one of her conversation with our Michael Guidry, Wiehe breaks down the state's current tax structure and examines who will be most affected by the changes.

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