- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 2, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on the opening day of the 2018 Mississippi Legislature (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

A long-serving Mississippi lawmaker says he has recovered from an illness that had been diagnosed as dementia.

Rep. Steve Holland, a Plantersville Democrat, made the announced Tuesday as lawmakers met for the first time in 2018.

He says his short-term memory problems cleared up in August. Holland says they may have been caused by a previous illness, although he also says his improvement may be a “providential miracle.”

Holland had previously announced he would retire in 2019 at the end of this four-year term, but now says he’s unsure of his plans.

An undertaker, Holland has been a lawmaker more than 30 years. He’s known for dramatic speeches and humor, but also was a key policymaker when Democrats held the majority.

___

Noon

The Mississippi Legislature has started its 2018 session with plenty of issues to consider.

Lawmakers could debate creation of a lottery. They could try to rewrite a school funding formula. They could seek a long-term plan to pay for highway construction.

This is the second year of a four-year term. Republicans continue holding a supermajority in both the House and the Senate, after special elections to fill seats of legislators who left.

The GOP gained one Senate seat when Democrat Bill Stone of Holly Springs departed and a Republican, Neil Whaley of Potts Camp, was elected.

Joel Carter is being sworn in to the Senate on Tuesday, the opening day of the three-month legislative session. He succeeds Sean Tindell, another Gulfport Republican who was appointed to a nonpartisan judicial post.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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