Mississippi State Capitol

The Mississippi Legislature mostly stayed away from controversial social issues, based on the bills that survived the committee process this year.

These are several bills that survived and we’ll be following for the duration of the session:

Notably, bills remain alive in the House and  Senate that will rewrite the public-education funding formula, which the top lawmakers support, in the form of two shell bills.

Other bills that are alive:

House Bill 280 – State will withdraw accreditation of school districts found in violation of any state law or section of the Mississippi Constitution

House Bill 866 – Limits the number of state testing days to 3 and the number of school district testing to 20.

House Bill 293 – Reduces the number of days in the school year from 180 to 170.

House Bill 442 – Allows individuals with master’s degree in any field or individuals with bachelor’s and 10 years administrative or management experience in any business eligible to become school superintendents.

SB 2469 — Blue Lives Matter legislation makes crimes against police and emergency personnel hate crimes.

SB 2567 — Gives governor authority over boards of Department of Health, Department of Mental Health and Rehab Services

SB 2572 — Abolishes 16 inactive boards and commissions.

SB 2645 — Imposes vehicle purchase moratorium for most state agencies during Fiscal Year 2018.

HB 1322 — Allows small craft breweries to sell on site up to two cases of beer to a customer per day.

SB 2625 — Patches special fund transfer problems from 2016 law SB2362.

HB 804 — Establishes state lottery through a committee substitute amendment.

SB 2710 —  Prohibits so-called sanctuary cities and requires local cooperation with federal immigration authorities

SB 2511 – Provides licensing for practicioners of naturopathic medicine

SB 2567 – Gives governor reigns of health agencies

HB 926 – Establishes the Health Care Collaboration Act aims to help University of Mississippi Medical Center to form partnerships with private health care providers around the state

Dead—but not “dead, dead, dead”

In the Legislature, nothing is ever dead until it’s completely dead. These bills failed to make it through committee, but could come back at some point as amendments to other bills or under provisions of special rules. Among them:

Multiple bills, including HB 8 and HB 366 that would require the state to establish equal pay laws and raise the state minimum wage did not make it out of committee before the deadline.

Bills proposing a merger of the Arts Commission into the Development Authority died in committee Tuesday. The bills – HB 1325 and SB 2611 – would have folded the Arts Commission into the Mississippi Development Authority, transferring all duties of the current commission to the economic development office.

Also dead are:

House Bills 9 and 1080 — Establish fair pay acts to provide equal pay for women.

HB 1 — Add “poisonous” and venomous snakes to the inherently dangerous category as used in Mississipppi Code.

HB 325 —  Require timber bearing trucks to operate at night.

HB 877 —  Replace the three elected positions that make up the Mississippi Transportation Commission with a single governor appointment.

HB 1022 —  Prevent the Legislature from appropriating any funds to Mississippi Department of Transportation for the purpose of new state highway or bridge construction.

All 22 state flag bills, some of which would change the state flag and some to keep it.

SB 2489— Give governor veto authority over 80-100 state boards and commissions.

SB 2891— Create district around state buildings and roads in downtown Jackson to improve infrastructure.

HB 505 – Require an increase in sex offender registration for the purpose of funding a new trooper school.  

SB 2600, House Bill 1065, HB 575 – Strengthen punishments for abuse of dogs and cats. Bills died in Senate and House Agriculture committees.

HB 1197 – Outlaws abortion

HB 1198 – Would prohibit abortion when a fetal heartbeat is present; two Senate bills also died.

SB 2170 – Prohibits use of public or grant funds for abortions

SB 2409 – Reopen chemical dependency unit at Mississippi State Hospital

HB 340 – Would make it a felony for a doctor to engage in any sort of sexual conduct with a patient

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Ryan L. Nave, a native of University City, Mo., served as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief from May 2018 until April 2020. Ryan began his career with Mississippi Today February 2016 as an original member of the editorial team. He became news editor August 2016. Ryan has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for Illinois Times and served as news editor for the Jackson Free Press.