Around the South for September 4th: FL, VA, & MS

Florida: Court date set for former congresswoman.  Former Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville) is expected to have her case heard in the 11th district court of appeals in December. Brown was convicted last year on tax fraud, and other corruption charges relating to donations intended to go to the One Door for Education charity that she used for personal expenses. Her lawyers say one of the jurors has claimed that a juror made statements saying “the holy ghost” told me she is not guilty.  Virginia: Legislature to redraw districts.  The Virginia state legislature convened on Thursday for a special session to redraw the state’s political map that was deemed unconstitutional by a federal court. The court ruled that 11 state house districts were racially gerrymandered, but nobody is really on board with a plan for the redraw at this point. The state has until October 30 to come up with the redraw, but Republicans have rebuked every map that Governor Ralph Northam has presented. Republicans hold a slight 51-49 majority in the house, but redrawing potentially up to 29 districts makes democrats feel really good about their chances in 2019 to attain a majority.  Mississippi: Lottery debate continues.  Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s bill to create a state lottery appeared to be dead earlier in the week. The bill was introduced in a special session of the legislature called by the governor to deal with bridge and infrastructure funding. Most Democrats opposed the lottery proposal due to their belief that not enough of the generated revenue would actually go toward education, but after meetings between the governor’s staff, and concerned senators, the bill was passed by the state senate, and the lottery is projected to be up and running in about two years.