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State Senate Weekly Summary

In the 13th week of the Legislative Session, the Senate met four deadlines.

  • Monday, March 25, deadline for making requests for appropriation and revenue bills to be drafted.
  • Wednesday, March 27, deadline for original floor action on appropriation and revenue bills originating in the Senate.
  • Thursday, March 28, deadline for reconsideration and passage of appropriation and revenue bills originating in the Senate.
  • Friday, March 29, deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider appropriation and revenue bills originating in the Senate.

The Senate faces a Tuesday, April 2, deadline for committees to report general bills and constitutional amendments originating in the House.

Passage of Senate Bill 3162, would give $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act, (ARPA), funds to the Department of Mental Health to enter a subcontract with Canopy Children’s Solutions for the construction and renovation of the CARES Center including the children and youth Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility for Trauma Recovery. Canopy will provide 33 beds for the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Child Protective Services, which enables them to have treatment space available for needy children who are currently being sent out of state at exorbitant costs.

The Senate voted 36-16 to amend and pass House Bill 1725, which would allow people who earn between zero and 99% of the federal poverty level and are working at least 120 hours per month, full-time students, and others who meet certain conditions, to qualify for Medicaid coverage. One hundred percent of the federal poverty level for an adult with 2 children is $25,820, according to the 2024 guidelines. Sen. McLendon voted no.

Other bills passed included:

  • Senate Bill 3165, would provide $80 million in unspent American Rescue Plan Act, (ARPA), funds to the Mississippi Department of Transportation for furthering the upgrade of roads on its special project list. The projects are included in the Maintenance Program of MDOT’s Three-Year Plan.
  • Senate Bill 3105, provides a tobacco excise tax rate for heated tobacco products, a new device to soon be sold in Mississippi. “Heated tobacco product” means a product containing tobacco and producing an inhalable aerosol by use of an electronic device that either heats the tobacco without burning it, or primarily heats rather than burns the tobacco.  The term “heated tobacco product” does not include cigarettes.”
  • Senate Bill 3106, revises tax exemption standards for business enterprises operating data centers.
  • Senate Bill 3099, authorizes a tax credit for certain employers that sponsor skills training for employees using local community colleges.
  • Senate Bill 3161, authorizes a tax credit for certain refineries of oil, gas, and petroleum products.
  • Senate Bill 2143, amends existing law to let Hinds County keep its authority to levy a seven-mill fee on residents for garbage collection.

The measures were transmitted to the House for consideration.

The Rust College Choir performed on Tuesday, March 26, at the second-floor rotunda of the Capitol and met with Senator Neil S. Whaley, and Senator Hillman T. Frazier, and Representative John Faulkner.

The Humphreys County High School Choir performed on Tuesday, March 26, at the second-floor rotunda of the Capitol, as part of Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann’s tradition of allowing students to share their talents which gives lawmakers time to reflect on the importance of the job they are at the Capitol to do.

Senator Hillman T. Frazier on Thursday, March 28, led the presentation of  Senate Resolution 60, honoring the Raymond High School “Rangers” Basketball Team for winning their second Class 4A State Championship in the last three years.

Senator Hillman T. Frazier on Thursday, March 28, 202, led the presentation of a proclamation honoring Eric Paymon Jr., a Raymond High School senior forward, named Gatorade Mississippi boys basketball “Player of the Year” for the 2023-2024 season.

President Pro Tempore Dean Kirby on Thursday, March 28, led presentation of Senate Concurrent Resolution 509, honoring Brookhaven resident and former Mississippi Senator, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith,  the first woman elected to represent Mississippi in Washington, D.C. Prior to becoming a U.S. Senator for Mississippi, Hyde-Smith served as the Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, elected in 2011 and reelected in 2015. Before leading the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, Hyde-Smith served 12 years in the Mississippi State Senate, including eight years as Chairman of the Agriculture Committee.

President Pro Tempore Dean Kirby on Thursday, March 28, led the presentation of Senate Resolution 51, to Konner Griffin, the multi-position senior baseball player from Jackson Prep. The 17-year-old is considered by many experts to be the best high school player in America. 

Evie Kate Horton of Nesbit recently served as a page for the Mississippi Senate. Pages generally run errands for officials and Senate staff. Evie is pictured with Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and Sen. Michael McLendon, who sponsored her visit. Evie is the daughter of Jeff and Dee Horton, and is homeschooled. When asked about the week, Evie said, “I really enjoyed getting to meet and talk to the senators and everyone I met at the Capitol. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to page for Sen. Michael McLendon, who kindly invited me to be his page. Getting to run errands with my fellow pages was so cool and a fun experience. I would love to come back next year if I am able to. It has been an honor to be here and to meet U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Gov. Tate Reeves, along with all of the other senators, and Presiding Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens.”