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Power Struggle in State House: Filibuster, Court Orders, and Looming Deadlines

JACKSON, MISS– Bill that can impact your children, your health, and your wallet are still on the table on the House floor today after yesterday’s filibuster. 

House democrats were trying to stave off the discussion of the Jackson Airport Bill, S.B. 2162, which will create a task force to operate the Jackson Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport. That task force would be comprised of 5 people appointed by Governor Phil Bryant, and those delegates would be from Jackson, Madison County, and Rankin County.

For nearly 6 and a half hours yesterday, every bill on the House floor was read aloud by the computerized voice machine. The speed of the machine was set to 10, which made the words impossible to decipher and comprehend.

Representative Jay Hughes of Oxford appealed to the courts for help, asking for a temporary order to require Speaker of the House Philip Gunn to turn the machine down to a more understandable pace.

In the Senate, bills were read aloud all day and into the evening. While Senator Barbara Blackmon spoke on nearly every bill and had them read, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves continued through the day. The “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Act” cleared the Senate yesterday. H.B. 1523 would protect anyone who chooses not to provide a service if it doesn’t align with their beliefs.

The Human Rights Campaign protested the bill at the Capitol yesterday, calling the bill discriminatory as it could open the door for rejection towards people in the LGBTQ community.

The House and Senate will both convene at 9am today to continue on their agendas. These bills must be passed by March 30th or they die for the session, losing any chance to become law.

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