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State Senate Weekly Summary

Note: The following information is provided by the Senate Press Office.

In the 18th and final week of the Mississippi Legislative Session, the Senate on Monday, April 29, 2024, adopted House Concurrent Resolution 64, which suspended the deadline for adoption of certain bills, and extended the session several days, “for the purpose of permitting the further consideration, filing and adoption of conference reports, after the deadlines for those actions in Joint Rule No. 40, on any appropriation bills and revenue bills that were in conference on April 27, 2024.”

House Concurrent Resolution 64 , further states, “That the House and Senate each shall reconvene at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, unless the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor jointly determine that it is not necessary to reconvene, in which case the House and Senate shall not reconvene on that date. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the 2024 Regular Session of the Legislature will stand adjourned Sine Die at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.”

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann appointed Senator Kevin Blackwell, Senator John Horhn, Senate President Pro Tempore Dean Kirby, Senator Chad McMahan, Senator John Polk, Senator Robin Robinson and Senator Chuck Younger to the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance, Evaluation and Expenditure, (PEER) Committee.

The Senate passed a $7.86 billion total state support budget that directs $3.3 billion to K-12 education and adjusted budgets to accommodate a 2-percent salary increase for most state employees and a 0.5 percent agency payment increase into the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi, ( PERS). The Senate also authorized a $110 million infusion into PERS.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 2487, that amended “The Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters Death Benefits Trust Fund,” to increase payments to survivors of fallen first responders who died in the line of duty, including a $150,000 payment to the surviving family, and $25,000 to each surviving child up to a limit of $250,000. It also authorizes a $15,000 payment toward funeral expenses.

The Senate passed several Rules measures commending exemplary Mississippians and approved several board and agency appointments. The Senate also approved suffrage to restore voting rights to Mississippians who have paid their legal dues to society.

Other bills passed included:

  • House Bill 1163, allows community and junior colleges to enter interlocal agreements with local governments for first responders’ services.
  • House Bill 1323, increases statute of limitations for sexual battery of a vulnerable person.
  • Senate Bill 2022, provides alternative sentencing and parole options for juvenile offenders.
  • Senate Bill 2130, prohibits insurance companies from refusing to issue or to renew homeowners’ insurance policy solely based on roof’s age.
  • Senate Bill 2753, creates the “Securing Areas for Females Effectively and Responsibly Act” or the “SAFER Act.” It establishes that females and males should be provided areas, including restrooms, changing facilities and single-sex educational housing spaces, for their exclusive use, respective to their sex, to maintain privacy and safety.
  • Senate Bill 3070, authorizes an income tax and insurance premium tax credit for certain investments in qualified community development entities.
  • House Bill 1406, revises aspect of absentee voting including signature authentication.
  • House Bill 292, clarifies how the 120 days are counted for DUI suspension.
  • House Bill 691, revises the composition of the Mississippi Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training and gives the board investigative authority.
  • House Bill 295, authorizes electronic applications, signatures, and records for felony arrest warrants.
  • House Bill 346, establishes the “Seizure Safe Schools Act,” that would enable school districts to allow staff to administer anti-seizure medications to children prone to seizures. The Epilepsy Foundation will work with schools to provide training.

Leadership of the Mississippi Children’s Museum was honored on Thursday, May 2, 2024, by Senator Robin Robinson with Senate Resolution 128, for being named “ the third-best Children’s Museum in the country by USA Today for the 2024 Reader’s Choice Travel Awards.”  Twenty museums were nominated by an expert panel and nominees were voted on by museum supporters and USA Today readers. 

Senator Dr. David Parker, Senator Neil Whaley and Senator John Polk led presentation of a Senate proclamation to Magnolia Tribune journalist Sarah Ulmer, who is changing careers.

Senator Derrick T. Simmons on Friday, May 3, 2024, led the Senate’s presentation of  Senate Concurrent Resolution 516, to Mississippi Supreme Court Presiding Justice Leslie D. King for being named a recipient of the “60 Courageous Judges Award.”

The National Judicial College (NJC) did so as part of its 60th Anniversary Celebration on December 7.  The NJC, located in Reno, Nevada, is the oldest judges’ education program in the U.S.  It honored 60 judges from the U.S. and other countries for their courage in upholding justice.

 Justice King, a Greenville native, has a notable judicial career.  He is currently the longest-serving Appellate Judge in Mississippi, with 29 years of service in the Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  He was an original member of the Court of Appeals, which started hearing cases in January 1995.  He was the first African American chief judge of the Court of Appeals, a role he held for nearly seven years before joining the Supreme Court in 2011.

Justice King served in the Mississippi House of Representatives for 15 years, from 1980 to 1994.

The Senate met a Saturday, April 27, 2024, deadline for conference reports on appropriation and revenue bills to be filed, and deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider concurrence or nonconcurrence on general bills and constitutional amendments. The Senate met a Monday, April 29, 2024, deadline for final adoption of conference reports on appropriation and revenue bills and deadline for conference reports on general bills and constitutional amendments to be filed, a Tuesday, April 30, 2024, deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider conference reports on appropriation and revenue bills, a Wednesday, May 1, 2024, deadline for first consideration of conference reports on general bills and constitutional amendments, a Thursday, May 2, deadline for filing conference reports on general bills and constitutional amendments that had been recommitted for further conference, a Friday, May 3, 2024, deadline for adoption of conference reports on general bills and constitutional amendments after recommittal, and a Saturday, May 4, 2024, deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider conference reports on general bills and constitutional amendments.