In the fifth week of the Legislative Session, the Senate debated bills on the floor and met the Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, deadline for committees to report general bills and constitutional amendments originating in the Senate.
Among the bills passed was Senate Bill 2127 that would allow prosecutors to criminally charge and prosecute persons who make terroristic threats, especially bomb threats. Under current law, a person who makes such a threat must ask or demand something to be prosecuted. The amended law would allow charges to be filed for simply uttering the threat.
Senate Bill 2323 would allow community hospitals to partner with one another and consolidate or collaborate to survive difficult financial times. It would allow struggling rural hospitals to keep the doors open, to find ways to compliment one another and continue providing medical services. Ways could vary from merging administrative staff, to ordering supplies in bulk.
Other bills passed included:
- Senate Bill 2120 would allow law enforcement officers with the attorney general’s office to purchase their duty weapons upon retirement.
- Senate Bill 2122 would extend the statute of limitations on bribery of a public official from two to five years.
- Senate Bill 2228 would establish the provisions for the sale of pet health insurance policies.
- Senate Bill 2390 would empower the governor to appoint the executive director of the state Veterans Affairs Board, with the Senate’s approval.
- Senate Bill 2353 would give Boards of Supervisors the ability to increase salaries of poll workers and ballot carriers on election day. It would raise the cap for poll managers from $75 per election to $125.
- Senate Bill 2382 would require out-of-state lawyers who advertise on television to disclose whether they are licensed to practice law in Mississippi.
- Senate Bill 2556 would lower from five years of law enforcement experience to two years the requirement for becoming a conservation officer. It would help the agency to recruit more officers.
- Senate Bill 2337 would cause the time limit for prosecuting the crime of conspiracy, to be the same as the crime a person conspired to commit.
- Senate Bill 2696, would increase from $5,000 to $7,500, the state income tax credit for qualified adoption expenses for persons adopting a child from within the Mississippi foster care system.
- Senate Bill 2164, would allow real property owned by school districts to be sold for residential and mixed-use development.
- Senate Bill 2203 would allow the Department of Finance and Administration to move forward with plans to build a new Veterans Nursing Home in Rankin County, eventually shutting down the facility located in south Jackson.
- Senate Bill 2202 would allow a parent to continue collecting child support past age 21, for a disabled child who cannot care for themselves.
- Senate Bill 2297 would allow the state forensics laboratory; to buy new intoxilyzer equipment.
- Senate Bill 2482 would allow the Department of Revenue to transmit and receive lien satisfactions electronically.
- Senate Bill 2810 would in part, strengthen the authority of the Office of Workforce Development.
- Senate Bill 2616 would cause the Real Estate Commission to lower fees it charged, like dropping the fee for renewing a broker’s license from $150, to $100.
Other Senate action included:
- The Madison Central High School Choir performed on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in the rotunda to resounding applause. Senator Walter Michel and Representative Jill Ford welcomed them.
- Senators John Horhn, David Blount, Hillman T. Frazier and Sollie B. Norwood, on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, presented Betsy Bradley, longtime Executive Director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, and the Mississippi Museum of Art, with Senate Resolution 22, for being a recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Arts Award for Leadership in Visual Arts and Community .
- Senator John Horhn and Senator Nicole Boyd on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, presented Dr. Ann Fisher-Wirth of Oxford, with Senate Resolution 21, for being named a recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Literature & Poetry.
- Senators John Horhn, Chris Johnson and John Polk on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, Senate Resolution 20, to renowned artist and Hattiesburg native, Ed McGowin, for being a recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.
- Senators John Horhn and Chad McMahan, on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, presented Senate Resolution 19, to internationally known Tupelo Multimedia Artist Ke Francis, as a recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Visual Arts.
- Senator John Horhn led the Senate in presentation of Senate Resolution 18, to blues guitarist King Edward Antoine, a recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Music.
- Senators John Horhn, Nicole Boyd and Chris Caughman on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, presented Senate Resolution 17, to Ralph Eubanks as the recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Literature and Cultural Ambassador.
- Senator John Horhn on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, presented Senate Resolution 16, to the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation for being named recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Patron of the Arts Award. The Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation’s mission is to fund four-year colleges and universities in Mississippi and the Mississippi Museum of Art, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the Mississippi Opera.
The Senate faces a Thursday, Feb. 9 deadline for original floor action on general bills and constitutional amendments originating in the Senate.