Mississippi Legislature passes, kills bills prior to floor deadline
3.9.22 – Y’all Politics
Today is the deadline for all general bills and constitutional amendments that originated in the opposite chamber.
On Wednesday, March 9th, lawmakers faced a floor deadline for all general bills and constitutional amendments that originated in the opposite chamber. A number of bills were passed or killed, while lawmakers invited conference on others.
Bills that Died
One of the bills that did not survive m the deadline is Senate Bill 2537. Authored by Senator Jeremy England (R), the bill would have reduced a violation of the article in Section 45-13-15, Mississippi Code of 1972 that regulates the sale and storage of fireworks from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Another bill that did not survive the deadline was SB 2164, The Mississippi Tourism Reorganization Act, which would have created the Mississippi Department of Tourism.
SB 2033 was killed on a procedural move when the House chose not to take it up prior to adjourning for the day. The bill would have authorized and directed the Division of Medicaid to provide up to 12 months of continuous coverage postpartum for any individual who qualifies for Medicaid as a pregnant woman to the extent allowable under federal law.
Senator Kevin Blackwell (R), Chairman of Medicaid, authored SB 2033. Blackwell attempted to have the coverage permanently extended during the debate over the Medicaid Technical Amendments bill in 2021.
The Senate also killed several measures on procedural moves by not taking them up before adjourning. HB 907, which was the House Reentry Court Act, and HB 1099, which would prevent any incarcerated individual from requesting a name or gender change while in the custody of MDOC, both died.
Bills that Survived
HB 1487 would replace the current state song of Mississippi – “Go, Mississippi” – with the more recent “One Mississippi.” HB 1487 passed the Mississippi House by a vote of 95-12 earlier in the session and passed the Senate on Wednesday.
You can listen to the new state song below.
Senate Bill 2424 unanimously passed the House on Wednesday, allowing school districts to process a single monthly or bimonthly payroll for employees in the discretion of the local school board.
Senate Bill 2423 passed and would revise deadlines to ensure teachers receive teacher procurement cards no later than September 1 of each year.
SB 2113, authored by Senator Mike McLendon (R), also passed. This bill is entitled ‘Critical Race Theory; prohibit’, but has no direct language to CRT in the bill. It states that it prohibits any teaching that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior or that individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity religion or national origin.”
“This is a simple bill saying that no one is inferior or superior to another regardless of your sex, race, religion, ethnicity or origin,” Senator McLendon previously said.
Senate Bill 2495, which would create the Senate’s version of the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund, also passed.
Authored by Senator Jeff Tate (R), SB 2789 would create the Mississippi Voting Modernization Act for the purpose of modernizing voting systems in the state.
Senate Bill 2120 passed and allowed for the revision of all officers of the Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
In the evening hours of deadline day, the Senate also passed HB 770, the Equal Pay for Equal Work bill which prevents employers from wage differences based on gender.
Concur or Invited Conference
Lawmakers declined to concur and invited conference on a number of bills, including:
- HB 155, State Health Plan; delete prohibition on covering hearing aids.
- HB 586, Pilot work release program that authorizes sheriff to assign offenders to while confined in jail; remove repealer on.
- HB 1005, Nursing Education Incentive Program; create.
- HB 1408, Sheriffs’ salaries; increase.
- HB 1421, ARPA Rural Water Associations Infrastructure Grant Programs; establish under Department of Health.
- HB 1425, ARPA Wastewater and Drinking Water Infrastructure Grant Programs; establish under DEQ and Department of Health.
- HB 1427, Law enforcement officers and fire fighters; provide premium pay to
March 18 is the deadline to concur or not concur in amendments from the other chamber to Appropriations and Revenue bills, and for introduction of local and private bills that are revenue bills. The deadline to concur or not concur in amendments from the other chamber to general bills and constitutional amendments is on March 24.
The deadline for Conference Reports on Appropriations and Revenue bills to be filed is on March 26.
**Contributions from Sarah Ulmer, Capitol Correspondent**