Be Informed: November 2020 Medical Marijuana Initiatives By:  Donnie Scoggin, Representative, District 89 As voters in Mississippi go to the polls in November, they will be faced with a unique decision ahead of them, which is whether or not to legalize medical marijuana.  Many questions have been raised about the difference between Initiative 65 and 65A, which are the two versions of a medical marijuana amendment that will be on the ballot.  I will attempt, to the best of my knowledge, to provide some clarity regarding these two initiatives and how the ballot is set up for voting on this issue.    First of all, Initiative 65 was an indirect initiated constitutional amendment, meaning that the required number of signatures from Mississippians were obtained and the process was followed to allow for the Initiative to appear on the ballot.  Initiative 65A was referred to the ballot alongside Initiative 65 as an alternative measure by the state legislature.One important thing to consider as you make your decision which initiative to vote…

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COVID-19 Tips, Resources and Relief Efforts Mississippi Secretary Of State Michael Watson Thursday, April 23, 2020 COVID-19 Cases in Mississippi As of Thursday, April 23, 2020, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported 5,153 COVID-19 cases and 201 deaths. According to state data and the Singing River Hospital System, people between ages 40-59 are the largest group to have tested positive for COVID-19, with 17 deaths across the state in that age group. The most deaths are occurring in the 60-79 age bracket with 106 deaths. That translates to the virus being 520% more deadly to those over 60.  State data also shows that about 1/3 of the individuals that test positive for COVID-19 require hospitalization, and half of those individuals require a ventilator to help them breathe. Statewide, the most common underlying conditions in deaths are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and obesity. State health officials emphasize that while the total number of cases in our state has subsided, it is still crucial for Mississippians in every age group to protect yourself and…

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Legislature Temporarily Returns Home Due to COVID-19 Threat On Tuesday, March 17, the Mississippi House of Representatives suspended the legislative session until April 1 at 2 p.m., or a date mutually agreed upon by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann if necessary. This suspension is out abundance of caution for the members and staffdue to the COVID-19 pandemic.Before the House could adjourn, several items needed to be taken up in relation to the suspension.Because the general bill deadline has already passed, a resolution was needed to suspend the rules and allow for a general bill to be introduced. Senate Concurrent Resolution 561 called for a suspension of the rules and for the introduction of a bill to authorize leave with pay for local government and local school district employees. There is a statute that allows for state employees to receive benefits during certain circumstances, but the statute did not permit the same for local government employees. House Bill 1647 was then introduced authorizing…

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What Happened the Week of March 9th The House met as a whole throughout the week to discuss general bills that made it out of committeeand onto the calendar.Thursday, March 12 was the deadline for representatives to discuss these general bills. Any bills not discussed in session by this deadline died on the calendar. The bills listedbelow are just some of the many bills that were passed by the House this week.One greatly debated item in the House was House Concurrent Resolution 39. The concurrent resolution would provide an alternative to Initiative 65 on the ballot in November. Initiative 65 would amend the Constitution to allow Mississippians with a debilitating medical condition to obtain a medical marijuanaprescription. Proponents of HC 39 claimed that the language in Initiative 65 was misleading and could potentially lead to a recreational marijuana environment in the state. Opponents of HC 39 argued that the resolution was a tactic to make it more difficult for Initiative 65 to pass in November. HC 39…

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News From The Week Of March 2nd
Bobcat Brigade.... visiting students from Jones College

Update From the Week of March 2nd The ninth week of the 2020 legislative session proved to be the busiest thus far. Committee meetings to discuss House bills wrapped up early in the week because of Tuesday’s general bill deadline. After Tuesday, all general bills that were not passed out of committee died before reaching the House calendar. The House convened Wednesday through Friday to discuss legislation that made it out of committee. The bills that were considered dealt with a variety of topics. House Bill 1208, or the Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act, would legalize the cultivation, processing and transportation of the hemp plant. Industrial hemp is a distinct strain of the cannabis plant that can be refined into commercial items, such as paper, textiles and clothing. Proponents of the bill said that the production of hemp would help farmers and be a boost for the state’s economy. Opponents of the bill argued that regulation and enforcement could be difficult because of its close resemblance to marijuana.…

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Latest Update from Jackson February 24th
Donnie and Dr Mark Horne who volunteered a day of his time to come to the Capitol. Each day a doctor comes and provides Healthcare to any one that may get sick while at the Capitol.

An Update From Last Week in Jackson Committees met frequently during the eighth week of the legislative session, as next Tuesday’s deadline to have House Bills out of their corresponding committees quickly approaches. After Tuesday, March 3, no additional general bills will be added to the House calendar for consideration. Members will also meet in session for longer periods of time to discuss the bills that have made it out of their respective committees. Although most work is still happening in these committee meetings, several bills reached the House floor and were discussed. The most heavily discussed bill this week was Senate Bill 2257. The bill will authorize the State Auditor’s office to examine tax returns of individuals who receive federal benefits like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid. Proponents of the bill say that the State Auditor requested the bill to comply with a federal mandate. Opponents argued that tax returns are not necessary for this type of audit…

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Legislative Update from the Week of February 17th
An evening reception with Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach.

Update from the Week of February 17th Legislators had a full schedule during the seventh week of the 2020 Legislative Session. The deadline for introducing bills was on Monday night, so the calendar quickly became full with bills and resolutions to discuss. Although most work is still happening in committees, several pieces of legislation reached the House floor. After being held on a motion to reconsider last week, House Bill 756 came before the House again. The bill would require the Department of Finance and Administration to ascertain cost estimates of repairs at the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility. Amendment 1 to HB 756 was introduced and passed on a voice vote. The bill passed as amended and has been sent to the Senate for consideration. House Bill 851 was another bill discussed both in committee and before the House this week. The bill adds an additional member appointed by the governor to the Corrections and Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force. The new member will act as an…

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Legislative Update: Week of Feb 10 2020
Future Leaders of Jones County and Leadership Jones County

February 10th Legislative Update Future Leaders of Jones County and Leadership Jones County This was the sixth week of the 2020 Legislative Session. House members had a busy week full of committee meetings and hearings. The deadline for the introduction of general bills and constitutional amendments is Monday, February 17, so members will remain busy over the next few weeks deciding which drafted bills will make it onto the House floor. On Tuesday, Speaker Philip Gunn was presented the Angel Award by the Mississippi Center for Violence Prevention and was recognized for his commitment to fight human trafficking. In October 2018, Speaker Gunn’s Commission on Public Policy hosted a Human Trafficking Summit, and last session, the House passed House Bill 571 which made it illegal for a person under the age of 18 to be charged with prostitution. After being held on a motion to reconsider at the end of last week, House Bill 95 came before the House again. The bill would provide that the Commissioner…

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Update for February 3rd 2020 Administrators from Ellisville State School were at the Capitol discussing improved mental health services. This was the fifth week of the 2020 Legislative Session. Floor action has been light because the deadlineto file general bills is still over a week away. Bills must be filed and then passed out of committee beforethey are considered by the entire House. The deadline for the introduction of general bills andconstitutional amendments is Monday, February 17.One bill that reached the House floor this week was House Bill 95. The bill would provide that theCommissioner of Insurance shall resolve certain disputes between provider and the insured regardingbilling. The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 111-4. The following day, the bill was held on a motion toreconsider.This week, the House voted unanimously to seat Hester Jackson McCray (D – DeSoto). McCray won theDistrict 40 election by 14 votes in November 2019. After her opponent contested the election results, aHouse Special Committee voted unanimously last week to recommend…

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Pictures From January 2020 Aubrey Register is a member of the Jones County 4-H and also the state ambassador 4-H team.Administrators from Ellisville State School were at the Capitol discussing improved mental health services.Tyler Owen, myself and Rex Buckhaults -- who was my FFA teacher Previous Next

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