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Bills dying and surviving at the Capitol this week

After Tuesday’s deadline of bills lawmakers got busy on the floor of the House and Senate to pass or deny bills, moving them along to the opposite side and to the governor’s desk. 

House Bills

So far the only bill signed into law has been HB32. It fixed a loophole from last year’s decision to appoint and not elect school superintendents. Under HB32, in the event a superintendent spot becomes vacant before the term is up, the district would now be able to appoint a new one instead of holding an election.

Also on the House floor HB480, or the Internet Sales Tax bill, was taken up and passed by a vote of 79-38. This bill would require out-of-state sellers to collect sales tax on purchases made over the internet. While there are already laws requiring this tax, Rep. Lamar who introduced the bill said they are not being enforced. It is now being held on a motion to reconsider.

One very controversial bill is HB974, which would exempt certain state agencies from the rules, regulations, and procedures of the State Personnel Board. Those against the bill say it would give too much power to those agencies that are exempt. The bill is being held on a motion to reconsider, but was passed 62-57.

HB1226 would create a Capitol Complex Improvement District, which would aid the Capitol City in fixing road problems surrounding government buildings. The bill originally passed 99-22, but is being held on a motion to reconsider.

One bill that is not being held for reconsideration is HB515, which would increase the penalty for anyone attempting to sell controlled substances near drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities.

Voters might look forward to this one, if HB228 is signed into law, after passing the House 113-8, you could be able to vote at least 14 days before Election Day.

One bill getting quite a bit of praise on social media is HB1322. This bill was passed 93-23 and would allow small scale breweries and light wine producers to sell their product on the premises of the brewery under certain restrictions.

Senate Bills 

On the Senate side they are dealing with the selection of superintendents as well with SB2398. Authored by Gray Tollison it would change the qualifications for school superintendents. The new requirements would include a valid administrators license with classroom experience of no less than six years, with exceptions for administrative roles within a school. It passed the floor with a vote of 37-15.

Another big bill Senators are considering, authored by Sen. Branning, would create pilot Mental Health Diversion Programs. SB2842 has the goal of recognizing the need for intervention during the court process for individuals who suffer from a mental illness. The programs would see to the needs of the defendant while also maintaining the integrity of the courtroom. It passed the Senate unanimously, 52-0.

Consolidation could be on the horizon for two Mississippi school districts. Under SB2463 administration in Chickasaw County and Houston Municipal Separate School district would be joined and administration located in Houston, MS. The consolidation would go into effect July 1, 2017. It was voted in favor, 36-16 in the Senate.

A few Senate bills that you might see coming out of committee over the next week include Sen. Harkins SB2610, which would legalize the use of Cannabidoil for medical use including the treatment of seizures. Money from the BP Oil Spill could be transferred directly to a Coast account that would aid in recovery. That’s SB2634. That money would be kept separate from general taxes.

For a list of House and Senate Bills News Mississippi is following for you just search here.

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