3.11.21 – Northside Sun
The Mississippi Legislature is nearing the end of its three-month session, with the number of bills winnowed to a few that are still alive in the process.
On March 2, the Legislature faced a critical deadline for general (non-revenue) bills to be reported by committees in the opposite chamber.
Among some of the more notable bills that died on the March 2 deadline included one that would’ve given teachers a pay hike (a similar house bill is still alive), another that would’ve possibly divested some of the state parks to either private operators or cities and counties and another that would’ve created a rural broadband grant program that would be administered by the Public Utilities Staff, a separate agency that advises the elected Public Service Commission.
Here are some of the more prominent bills that died on the deadline:
Senate Bill 2001 was authored by state Sen. Dennis DeBar, R-Leakesville, and would’ve provided a $1,000 annual pay raise for teachers. The bill died in the Education and Appropriations committees in the House. House Bill 852 will do the same thing and is still alive in the process.
HB 1013 would’ve abolished the Division of Medicaid, which is run by the governor, and replace it with a Medicaid Commission. It was authored by state Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, and was killed after being double-referred to the Medicaid and Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency committees in the Senate.
SB 2486 would’ve opened the door for some state parks to be transferred to counties and others to be leased by private companies. It was authored by state Sen. Neil Whaley, R-Potts Camp. The Senate passed it by a 32-11 vote on February 5, but it was killed by the House Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Committee.
HB 466 would’ve allowed the state Department of Corrections to utilize money from the Inmate Welfare Fund for re-entry related expenses, such as technical training equipment. The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Kevin Horan, D-Grenada. The bill was double-referred to the Corrections and Appropriations committees and died there without a floor vote.
HB 586 would’ve compared the state’s voter database to several databases to ensure that non-U.S. citizens are not registered to vote. The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Dan Eubanks, R-Walls. It was double-referred in the Senate to the Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency and Elections committees where it was allowed to die.
HB 505 would’ve created a broadband accessibility grant program that would be managed by the Public Utilities Staff. It was authored by state Rep. Scott Bounds, R-Philadelphia and was killed by the Energy and Appropriations committees in the Senate after being double-referred.←→2 / 6
HB 581, known as the Sexual Assault Response for College Students Act, would’ve required the state’s community colleges and universities to adopt comprehensive policies “consistent with federal and state law” regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation and stalking. It was authored by state Rep. Angela Cockerham, D-Magnolia.
The bill was killed by the Universities and Colleges and Judiciary B committees in the Senate. It was the fifth time a similar bill was passed by the House before dying in the Senate.
SB 2004, authored by state Sen. Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, would’ve deleted the moratorium on new child/adolescent psychiatric or chemical dependency beds under the state’s certificate of need law. The bill was killed by the Public Health and Human Services Committee in the House.
HB 1303 would’ve allowed nurse practitioners full practice authority in Mississippi and is sponsored by state Rep. Donnie Scoggin, R-Ellisville. The bill died in the Public Health and Welfare Committee in the Senate.
HB 718 would’ve required all campaign finance reports to be posted online by the 2022 election cycle. The bill was killed after being double-referred to the Elections and Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency committees in the Senate. The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Timmy Ladner, R-Poplarville.
SB 2588 would’ve created a statewide election management system and would’ve removed voters who fail to respond to a notice and who fail to vote after a certain time. It was authored by state Sen. Jeff Tate, R-Meridian. The House Appropriations and Elections Committee killed the bill.
HB 1315 would’ve eliminated licensing requirements for art therapists, auctioneers, interior designers and wigologists and was sponsored by House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton. It was killed by the Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency Committee in the Senate.
HB 1315 would’ve eliminated licensing requirements for art therapists, auctioneers, interior designers and wigologists and was sponsored by House Speaker Gunn. It was killed by the Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency Committee in the Senate.