Senate Weekly Report
Credit: Senate Press Office
In the 10th week of the Legislative Session, the Senate debated bills on the floor, met in committees and met the Wednesday, March 8, 2023 deadline for original floor action on general bills and constitutional amendments to bills originated in the House, the Thursday, March 9, 2023, deadline for reconsideration and passage of general bills and constitutional amendments originated in the House and the Friday, March 10, 2023, deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider general bills and constitutional amendments originated in the House.
The Senate passed House Bill 1369 and House Bill 1613 – legislation which would fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) and place an additional $181.1 million into school budgets. The bills await House concurrence.
House Bill 1365 prohibits school districts from reducing the local contribution to assistant teachers’ salaries, which some districts did after the historic $246 million Mississippi teacher pay raise approved by the legislature in 2022. It awaits House concurrence.
The Senate passed appropriation bills comprising the proposed 2024 Fiscal Year total state support budget of $7.79 billion, which includes a K-12 education budget of $3.14 billion. Also included is House Bill 271, that contains $83 million for the Hospital Sustainability Grant Program to assist hospitals in need of supplemental funding.
Passage of House Bill 1222, creates the “Mississippi Collaborative Response to Mental Health Act,” that would provide mental health training to county and municipal law enforcement officers to reduce deadly encounters between police and persons who may suffer from mental illnesses. It awaits House concurrence.
Accepting House changes to Senate Bill 2203 authorizes the Department of Finance and Administration to assign property in Rankin County for construction of a new Veterans Nursing Home.
Other bills passed included:
- House Bill 388 allows counties, cities, and hospitals to collect unpaid debt by garnishing a person’s state income tax returns. It awaits House concurrence.
- Senate Bill 2723 approves the purchase by the Department of Finance and Administration of former “First Christian Church,” within the Capitol Improvement District and awaits the governor’s signature.
- Senate Bill 2652 creates the Mississippi Vulnerable Person Abuse Registry, by accepting House changes. It awaits the governor’s signature.
- House Bill 1315 requires age verification for pornographic media materials to keep minors from accessing it. It awaits House concurrence.
- Senate Bill 2615 allows contract employees to purchase base plan of the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan.
- House Bill 1020 expands the jurisdiction of Capitol Police to the entire city and provides aid to the Hinds County judicial system. It awaits House concurrence.
- House Bill 1110 creates the Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act, which restricts the use of “firearms codes,” in gathering information related to purchases of weapons or related accessories. It awaits House concurrence.
- House Bill 1158 revises certain provisions of the Medical Cannabis Act.
- House Bill 557 will allow six students to participate in the Rural Dentists Scholarship Program. It awaits House concurrence.
In other action:
- The Clinton High School Girls A Capella Group performed Tuesday, March 7, 2023, in the second-floor rotunda.
- Senator Barbara Blackmon on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, led presentation of Senate Concurrent Resolution 507, commending the Jackson State University Tigers 2022 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship football team for its second consecutive (SWAC) Championship, the first back-to-back SWAC titles since 1995-1996.
- Senator Sollie B. Norwood on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, led presentation of Senate Resolution 53, commending the 2021 and 2022 JSU “Tigers” Men’s Cross-Country Team for winning consecutive SWAC Championships; Senate Resolution 54 commending 2022 JSU “Lady Tigers” Women’s Basketball Team and Coach Tomekia Reed for third straight SWAC Championship; Senate Resolution 55 commending 2022 JSU “Lady Tigers” Women’s Tennis Team and Head Coach Gabrielle Moore for SWAC Championship; and Senate Resolution 56 commending 2022 JSU “Tigers” Soccer Team for SWAC Championship and Coach Ted Flogaites as “SWAC Coach of the Year.”
- Senator Albert Butler, on Thursday, March 9, 2023, presented Senate Resolution 36, to Chris Barnett and Carlos Palmer declaring March 9, 2023 “Omega Psi Phi Day,” in Mississippi.
The Senate next week faces a Tuesday, March 14, 2023, deadline for original floor action on appropriation and revenue bills originated in the House, a Wednesday, March 15, 2023, deadline for reconsideration and passage of appropriation and revenue bills originated in the House, a Thursday, March 16, 2023, deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider appropriations and revenue bills originated in the House and a Friday, March 17, 2023, deadline to concur or not concur in amendments from the House to appropriation and revenue bills, and for introduction of local and private bills that are revenue bills.