Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
Some new Mississippi laws that take effect Saturday:
ADOPTION: A tax credit of up to $2,500 for expenses related to adopting a child.
CONSUMERS: Small-loan companies allowed to sell automobile club memberships.
EDUCATION: High-performing school districts become exempt from some operating standards; high school students can earn college credits; districts required to offer advanced placement courses; districts to expand use of "virtual schools" with online or distance learning; mentoring programs to be established in middle schools.
GUNS: Firearms can be kept in an individual's vehicle as long as the parking area is not gated or otherwise blocked from public access.
HISTORY: New commission will develop and find resources for civil rights and human rights curriculums in public schools.
MILITARY FUNERALS: Disruptive protests are banned at military funerals, memorial services or burials.
PHYSICAL THERAPY: Licensed physical therapists can provide their services without a prescription or a referral from a health care provider, under certain circumstances.
SEX OFFENDERS: The Mississippi Department of Corrections, when money is available, will establish a system to notify sex crime victims when a convict is assigned to another facility or either temporarily or permanently released from custody. "Currently, more than 3,000 victims, registered with the MDOC Victim Services, are notified when an inmate meets with the parole board, escapes or earns early release," MDOC said in statement. "The automated victim information and notification system will enhance the agency's program." MDOC says it is looking for funding.
STATE VEHICLES: New Office of Fleet Management to oversee use of state vehicles.
VULNERABLE ADULTS: Protection expanded for nursing home patients or others vulnerable adults under the state's sex crime laws.
Some new Mississippi laws that took effect earlier this year:
COLLEGE STUDENTS: Sales tax removed from prepaid meal plans at public and private junior colleges and universities, and from prepared meals by any public or private elementary or secondary school.
DELTA: A task force will study how to revive the northwest region of the state. The Delta task force already has started to study housing, education and economic development issues.
INSURANCE: Car insurance companies cannot penalize people activated for military service.
VETERANS: State can fly a prisoner of war/missing in action flag at the state Capitol on several designated days, including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veterans Day.
WEATHERING STORMS: Five south Mississippi counties _ Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River and Stone _ required to adopt stringent building codes.
WINDOW TINT: Motorists allowed to have slightly darker window tint on vehicles.