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Update: Bills to allow paid leave for teachers, local government employees

Mississippi Legislature Capitol

Update: The Senate took up the House’s version of the bill on Wednesday morning, and sent the legislation to the Governor’s desk. After passing the bill, the Senate adjourned and the 2020 session will now be suspended until at least April 1st amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Original Report: 

While the Mississippi Legislature will halt the 2020 session as the coronavirus outbreak continues, they are working to pass an important bill before the extended recess. 

Both the House and Senate passed similar bills that will ensure all local government and school district employees will receive paid leave as the spread of virus forces closures across the state. 

The exact language in the legislation can be read below:

“The board of supervisors of any county, the governing authority of any municipality and the local school board of any public school district may grant administrative leave with pay during the affected period within the affected county, municipality or school district to the employees of such governmental entities on a local or statewide basis in the event of extreme weather conditions or in the event of a man-made, technological or natural disaster or emergency, if such event has resulted in an emergency declaration by the Governor.”

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate. In the House, the final vote tally was 118-2 with Rep. Joel Bomgar (R) and Rep. Dana Criswell (R) voting against it. Rep. Robert Johnson (D) voted present. 

After passing their bill, the House went into recess, leaving the Senate to take up the House’s version tomorrow. After they complete their business, the session will officially be suspended until at least April 1st.

The bill does not cover the private sector. 

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