JACKSON, Miss. – Democrats of the Mississippi House announced their early accomplishments on Monday evening, trumpeting their ability to kill legislation that they say would be harmful to working Mississippi families.
“Despite our major numerical disadvantage here in the House, we are proud to have caused so many destructive bills brought before the House to be killed by either tabling or returning them to committee. While there is plenty more to be done, and plenty of bad legislation left to deal with, we believe our caucus’s efforts so far were valuable.” House Caucus leader David Baria said in a statement.
A rocky beginning of the session led to an effort to cut off debate by the House Republicans. Following this move, House leadership took the extraordinary step of calling an emergency rules committee meeting that brought the elimination of the rule regarding members’ personal privilege. The suspension of debate and the mid-session rule change drew criticism from the local media and citizens alike. After debate was restored, Democrats were able to make strong cases to kill certain bills.
Among the bills that are still alive are MAEP formula revisions, school consolidation, vaccination exemptions. However, legislation that would fine or potentially jail educators for being politically active, create additional high-stakes testing requirements for public schools, undermine the Mississippi Department of Education’s budget formulas, and strip Mississippi’s Attorney General office of many constitutional duties were stopped.
Said Baria, “While we are proud of our accomplishments thus far, there is much to be debated and fixed coming weeks.”