Tuesday was the final day for House and Senate committees to pass general bills that originated in and already passed out of their opposite chamber. This was the third deadline of the session and a number of bills died in committee.
The bills that didn’t make it include ones dealing with equal pay, requiring insurance companies to pay for fertility treatments. Stopping the sale of fake human urine will not be happening this year and neither will harsher penalties for gangs trying to recruit children.
The Attorney General has been urging lawmakers to leave his office alone and while two bills died in committee that would inhibit the Attorney General’s office, there is another bill still alive that would block the attorney general from suing over certain utility matters.
Other bills dealing with the education funding re-write, infrastructure, Medicaid, a tobacco tax and how to divvy up the state’s oil spill money will need to be voted on before March 7th to make it to the next step in becoming law.
Senator Brice Wiggins said that he would count the session as being highly successful if the new education funding formula gets passed along with infrastructure and a re-authorization of Medicaid.
“The process is set up to kill legislation and that’s a good thing,” Wiggins said. “We usually start out with 3,500 to 4,000 bills and then we end up with 300 and most of those are usually appropriations.”
HB 957 – Revising the MAEP Education Funding Formula
HB 1083 – Enhanced Firearms licensing (amended to allow public and private school administrators to establish school safety programs allowing teachers to carry guns
SB 2176 – Oil Spill money, the bill creates a separate fund in the treasury for money from the oil spill
SB 3046 – BRIDGE Act dealing with Infrastructure, roads, and bridges
SB 2295 – Requires approval by the Public Service Commission for the Attorney General to bring lawsuit against utility companies
HB 419 – Creation of Mental Health Courts
HB 1080 – “Mississippi Urine Trouble Act” sets penalties for selling fake human urine to pass a drug test
HB 1177 – Create the “Mississippi False Claims Act”
HB 1238 – Regulates the office of consumer protection
HB 1198 – Requires insurance companies to cover infertility treatment
SB 2474 – Dog and cat abuse registry act
SB 2599 – Texting and driving (clarify the offense)
SB 2868 – Gang penalties adds penalties for gang members actively trying to recruit children