As they have done in the past with Mississippi Today, Mississippi Today reporters researched and provided context to several governor’s statements regarding health care, social service, and jobs. Bryant referred to a speech by Attorney General Jim Hood on Wednesday. Bryant said: “Democrats say health care in Mississippi so terrible, why is it as bad as in 1940. He’s not going be called out for this. “Nobody’s going to fact check that.” Fact Check: Bryant mischaracterized Hood’s comments. They were about rural emergency departments. Hood criticised Republican leadership for failing to expand Medicaid. He attributed the closure of emergency rooms throughout the state, including one near his hometown of Houston, to Hood’s speech on Wednesday. Hood stated Wednesday that “We could have extended (Medicaid), and kept emergency rooms open. Like the one in Houston, they’ve shut down.” “We closed our emergency room. This is our point of view. Hood’s remarks are harder to verify. Since the 1980s, the Department of Health has only begun to track hospital data. This makes it difficult to gauge the quality of care in 1940s. Editor’s Note: Hood’s speeches and those of several other candidates were fact-checked by us. We will publish them later in the day. Bryant: “I have cut taxes more than 50 times since becoming governor and I am damn proud of it. I am leading the SEC in tax reductions. “I think I’m still there.” Fact check: Since Bryant’s 2012 election, 52 tax cuts have been passed by Republican legislators. It is difficult to quantify the economic impact of many tax cuts. The $418 million franchise tax reduction and the individual income tax cut has begun their 10-year phase. This is the largest tax cut in state history. Companies with their headquarters in the Magnolia State will be most affected by this tax cut. According to Department of Revenue figures, $215.9million — 78% — of the $278 million in franchise taxes collected in fiscal year 2016 was accounted for by out-of-state businesses. Only 22 percent of the revenue came from within-state businesses. The tax cut data for states with universities in the Southeastern Conference is not available. However, only three governors from SEC states have served more than Bryant: Tennessee Governor. Bill Haslam is the Florida Governor. Rick Scott and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. All three were elected to office in 2011. Bryant: We spoke to our state economist, and he told us what our GDP was. Our GDP stands at $114.13 million. It is trending higher in Mississippi’s past history.” Fact Check: The GDP (gross Domestic Product), which is used as an economic indicator and is defined as the total value of all goods or services produced over a given time period. Bryant’s figure is correct, but the country is enjoying its longest period of sustained economic growth. The national GDP has been increasing since the Great Recession. However, Mississippi’s GDP has grown much slower. The state’s economy grew by 1.7 percent in comparison to 15.9 percent nationally between 2009 and 2016. In addition, the state’s employment growth was 5.3% compared with 11.8 percent nationally. For the first time since 2011, Mississippi had seen six consecutive quarters with a growth rate of GDP. This growth continued in 2018. Bryant: “The unemployment rate in Mississippi is currently at 4.7 percent. This is historically the lowest level of Mississippi history. In June 2018, the unemployment rate was 9.4 percent. However, 42 other states had lower unemployment rates than Mississippi. This makes Mississippi’s unemployment rate one of the highest in the country. The 1.16 million nonfarm workers in Mississippi, as of June, represented an increase of 1.5 percent over the previous year. In January 2012, Mississippi’s unemployment rate was 9.2 percent. Nationally, it was 9.3 percent. Bryant: “We just had a $1.8 billion income tax. According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, both Bryant’s figures are the highest ever in state history. However, they are only $3 million below the totals for fiscal 2008. This sum was the state’s highest revenue year prior to the Great Recession. Recent revenue department data shows that the state’s total income tax collection was $15 million lower than anticipated for the fiscal year. Bryant: “CPS has done a remarkable job. We doubled the number in MS of adoptions one year, from 360 – 645… And now we have about 5,000 children under our custody. We are working with the judges to ensure that we have a way forward for these parents.” Fact check. Child Protection Services has increased the adoption rate by more than doubling the number of children. This is due to a federal consent agreement. CPS completed 302 adoptions in fiscal 2017. The department reported that 645 adoptions were completed in fiscal 2018, which ended June 30. In the past year, there has been a significant drop in the number of children under state custody. The number of children in state custody reached 6,112. According to a spokeswoman for the department, it is currently at 5,214. Lea Anne Brandon is the communications director for Child Protection Services. She stated that “(the number) started to decline as we increased efforts to finalize adoptions, reunification, and provide more preventive, in-home services to avoid placing children into foster systems if they could safely be maintained at home with wraparound services and support to the entire family.” To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to Child Protection Services today as part of the Spring Member Drive. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of all Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think.