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Wednesday, October 30

Air date 10/30/13

Governor Phil Bryant says he still supports his executive order directing insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield to reinstate ten Mississippi hospitals in its network even though a federal judge has blocked it.  The executive order was set to take effect yesterday but the judge says it needs more review to determine if it is constitutional.  Bryant says he issued the order to ensure that Mississippians have access to health care.

Governor Bryant's executive order - and the subsequent lawsuit by Blue Cross - caused Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney to file a motion to intervene on behalf of his Department opposing Governor's decision.   Commissioner Chaney says he is not siding with either Blue Cross or the Hospitals.   But while he respects the Governor's intentions, the order goes beyond Bryant's executive authority.  Chaney spoke with MPB's Jeffrey Hess.

Six children die in school bus crashes every year in the United States, while thousands of other children are injured. A report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 45 percent of those injuries could be prevented by installing seatbelts in school busses. That's why the House Transportation Committee met yesterday to discuss the merits of requiring seatbelts on school busses.

State Representative Tom Miles is on the committee, and spoke with MPB's Paul Boger.

Mayor Knox Ross of Pelahatchie understands the value of seat belts.  Still, he's skeptical about yet another cost being passed along to already cash-strapped school districts.

Introduction of Common Core Standards in Mississippi and 45 other states' schools has been the subject of debate.  Yesterday, about 140 educators came to Tupelo for the Mississippi Education Symposium - hosted by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves - to learn about new classroom strategies and teaching tools. But the keynote speaker said he considers the Common Core Standards a mixed bag. William Bennett served as Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan.  He told MPB's Sandra Knispel that he's not sure it's the right answer to the U.S.'s educational shortfalls.

Our Sandra Knispel also spoke with Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves.  He spoke about the Common Core, and about opposition from within his own party.

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