Lawmakers are moving swiftly through the stacks of bills filled at the Capitol. The House and Senate are meeting on the floor for the majority of the day to work through bills that made it through Tuesday’s committee deadline.
However, some bills are being left in the dust.
One of which is the animal cruelty bill proposed by Senator Angela Hill. Better known as the Cat and Dog Abuse bill, SB2600 would have created a harsher penalty for individuals who maliciously harm cats and dogs.
It would have also required law enforcement to report any animal cruelty violations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for further investigation.
“Many times the punishment that comes about really isn’t a deterrent so they just move a little further away and continue the same practices, especially these people running puppy mills.”
Currently an individual can only be charged up to one count, per incident, of animal cruelty against a cat or dog regardless of the number of animals involved. It is also not considered a felony until the second offense.
“It’s time to close this gap, it’s time for Mississippi to step up and make positive moves toward acknowledging that Mississippi women deserve equal pay for equal work,” said Fitch.
It would have discouraged wage discrimination between men and women. In a recent study done by the Mississippi State Economists office, officials found that there is a 27 percent wage gap in the state, 8 percent higher than the national average at 19 percent.
Evelyn Gandy was the first female elected to a statewide office as 11 State Treasurer, she was the first female Insurance Commissioner, 12 and the first female Lieutenant Governor.
The controversial bill over the dissolution of the Mississippi Arts Commission has also died in committee and will not see the Senate Floor. SB2611 would have “abolished and transferred power, duties and assets to Mississippi Development Authority.”
“It’s a problem because we have totally different missions, we administer grants in a totally different way, it’s a problem because the MDA was created for economic development, job creation, and workforce,” said White.
Lawmakers also chose not to move forward with two House bills that would have allowed parents the choice on whether or not to vaccinate their children under medial, philosophical, or religious reasons.
Authored by Rep. Mark Formby HB1456 and HB1457 each bill died in committee after rallies at the Capitol building by parents who believe it should be their right to choose whether or not to have their child vaccinated, without the penalty of not being able to enroll in school.
For a look at what bills did survive committee for the House and Senate see here: