Note: The following is state Sen. Michael McLendon’s (R-Hernando) Weekly Report and is provided to DeSoto County News courtesy of his office.
The Senate passed Senate Bill 2782 that would allow the survivors of officers, firefighters, and volunteer firefighters to collect a $100,000 death benefit if they died because of COVID-19 contracted while in performance of their duties.
Senate Bill 2822 would set aside $750 million from the state’s $1.8 billion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds to create within the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the Mississippi Municipality and County Water Infrastructure Grant Program under which municipalities and counties may apply for reimbursement when making necessary investments in water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. Many cities and counties across the state have approached the legislature requesting such help in recent years to upgrade their aged and failing infrastructures.
Senate Bill 2706 would create for one year, the “Covid Impact Literacy-Based Promotion Modification Act,” that would allow third grade students to advance to fourth grade with remedial training if they did not meet passing requirements, mainly because of the disruption created in schools by COVID-19, that caused some schools to close, students to miss in-class training and created chaos within the educational system.
Among other bills passed were:
- Senate Bill 2879 would establish a grant program from which counties and municipalities can purchase new voting machines.
- Senate Bill 2572 would allow election commissioners to serve without being tested.
- Senate Bill 2413 would prohibit spending of private money on any aspect of communication regarding elections.
- Senate Bill 2120 would increase salaries for state troopers and officers with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
- Senate Bill 2803 would give salary increases to county sheriffs.
- Senate Bill 2066 would increase salaries for district attorneys and their investigators.
- Senate Bill 2772 would authorize the Mississippi Development Authority to create a private, nonprofit economic development agency.
- Senate Bill 2504 would create a separate division within the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks known as Division of Parks and Recreation and create a new executive director position for that division.
- Senate Bill 2506 would create a three-day season the last weekend of September for bow hunters who wish to harvest a buck in velvet.
- Senate Bill 2600, “The Community Rebound Act of 2022”, seeks to reduce prison recidivism.
- Senate Bill 2530, the “Enterprise Security Program” would guard against ransomware attacks on state agencies. It would give the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services security oversight over all state governmental data and information technology resources.
- Senate Bill 2735 would allow “free standing,” emergency rooms in small, rural hospitals throughout the state.
- Senate Bill 2725 would require medical providers to release within 30 days, records of individuals who request them.
- Senate Bill 2643 would create the 13th grounds for divorce in Mississippi, by recognizing an “irretrievably broken,” union as justification.
- Senate Bill 2536 would create a Public Funds Offender Registry to identify people who have stolen or misappropriated public money.
- Senate Bill 2844 would seek acquisition of land on which to build a new and modernized liquor warehouse to replace the state’s current 212,000 square foot facility located in Gluckstadt and seek private operators for it.
- Senate Bill 2875 would redefine the definition of beer, which could allow the sale of new products containing a greater percentage of alcohol.
- Senate Bill 2275 would extend the repeal date of the Pilot Work Release Program being done in Rankin County.
- Senate Bill 2450 would divert money collected under the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association to the State and School Employees’ Insurance Fund. It was established after Hurricane Katrina to benefit six coastal counties.
- Senate Bill 2077 would create the Mississippi Farms and Families Program that would give dollar credits to SNAP beneficiaries to purchase fruits and vegetables.
- Senate Bill 2002 would establish the voluntary “Mississippi Grain Producer Indemnity Act,” to provide protection and the existence of adequate funds for compensation for losses by grain producers in Mississippi caused by the financial failure of grain dealers and warehouses in order to promote the state’s welfare by improving the economic stability of agriculture.” A companion bill, Senate Bill 2479, the “Mississippi Grain Warehouse and Grain Dealers Licensure Law”, would update regulations and existing law to allow close monitoring of companies for fraud detection.
Please call if I can help at 601-359-3232 or email me at MMcLendon@senate.ms.gov.