March 5th Legislative Update
Jones County Republican Women Visit State Capital.

Wednesday of this week marked the deadline for the House to discuss general Senate bills. The deadline to discuss Senate appropriations and revenue bills will occur next week. On Tuesday, the House passed Senate Bill 2418, which would amend previous legislation to allow an increased weight limit on the axles of harvest permit vehicles. The bill would allow truckers hauling sand, gravel, wood chips, wood shavings, sawdust, fill dirt, agricultural products, and products for recycling or materials for the construction or repair of highways to place more weight on their axles than was previously allowed. The bill passed by a vote of 76-34. The House also passed Senate Bill 2277, which would require vehicles that have received a salvage certificate to be given a branded title instead of a clear title. Proponents of the bill said this will allow consumers to know more about the car they are purchasing. Those opposed say this would damage the business of reputable repairmen and used car salesmen. The bill passed…

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February 26 Legislative Update
Visitors to the Capital for Forestry Day: Jim Walley, Meacham Harlow, Representative Scoggin, Nancy Lindstrom, and Kyle Bush

Forestry Day Visitors Jim Walley, Meacham Harlow, Representative Scoggin, Nancy Lindstrom, and Kyle Bush Legislative Update for the Week of February 26th The deadline for House committees to pass Senate bills occurred Tuesday. Any Senate bills that did not make it out of these committees died. Throughout the rest of the week, the House met to discuss these bills. Representatives passed a number of Senate bills, including the following: “Katie’s Law” would be enacted with the passage of Senate Bill 2568, which provides that DNA samples may be destroyed by the Mississippi Forensics Lab only under certain conditions. Candidate hopefuls would have to meet a residency requirement with the passage of Senate Bill 2178. Anyone seeking the office of Highway Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Commissioner or District Attorney would have to be a resident of the state district in question for five years before running for the position. In an effort to expand reemployment protections for military servicemen and veterans the House passed Senate Bill 2459, which would ensure that…

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Legislative Update Week of February 19th
I was privileged to have three Pages this week at the Capitol. They were Darby Cooley from South Jones, Delaney Cooley from South Jones, and Maryanna Jefcoat from West Jones. They each did a fantastic job and represented their respective schools well.

FFA Students Visit the Capital FFA students representing Northeast Jones, West Jones, and South Jones high schools Pages For This Week I was privileged to have three Pages this week at the Capitol. They were Darby Cooley from South Jones, Delaney Cooley from South Jones, and Maryanna Jefcoat from West Jones. They each did a fantastic job and represented their respective schools well. Update from Week of February 19th 2018 Friday, Feb. 23, marked the deadline for House appropriations and revenue bills to be introduced and passed. The House Appropriations Committee finished considering bills regarding budgets for state entities last week, but the Ways and Means Committee still needed to approve a few bills to meet the deadline. Assistance to the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District would be provided with the passage of House Bill 1631, which allocates bond money for a flood control project in that area. House Bill 1651 would make way for more bond money to be provided for the improvement…

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Legislative Update Week of February 12th Week of February 12, 2018 With general House Bills out of the way, representatives began working on House Appropriations Bills, which will determine how much money is given to various state organizations. The House was responsible for looking at the preliminary budgets of 51 state agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Public Health, Medicaid and Public Safety. Budgets included reverse repealers, a clause which ensures that a bill cannot become law before going to a conference committee for further revisions. With reverse repealers in place, most appropriations bills were voted on in a block to help speed up the process. Among these was House Bill 1592, the appropriations bill for the Mississippi Department of Education. During discussion for this bill, a conditional amendment was offered that would prevent MDE from receiving any money from the state budget unless the department removed its requirement for students to pass all end-of-course tests, commonly known as “exit exams.” The amendment passed the House by…

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Mississippi Legislative Update Week of February 5th 2018
Welcome to the Leadership Jones County as well as the Future Leaders of Jones County class. The leadership Jones County class is a group of adults that live and work in Jones County. The Future Leaders Jones County are high school juniors who attend one of the five high schools in Jones County.

  Week of February 5, 2018 The House met as a whole throughout the week to discuss bills that made it out of committees and onto the calendar. Thursday, Feb. 8, was the deadline for representatives to discuss House Bills. Any bills that were not discussed by Thursday died on the calendar. One of the first bills that passed this week was House Bill 1476, which would revise the requirements for obtaining a real estate brokers license. Under the bill, a person would have to work as a real estate salesperson for at least three years before sitting for the licensing exam. The bill passed by a vote of 81-34. Various provisions relating to the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association (MWUA) would be revised with the passage of House Bill 948. This bill would provide money from the non-admitted policy fee to rural fire truck grants and require MWUA to receive approval from the Insurance Commissioner when reinsurance would exceed a certain amount. The bill passed by a…

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  Week of January 29, 2018 Committee meetings to discuss House bills wrapped up on Tuesday, and the House convened as a whole Wednesday through Friday to discuss the legislation that made it to the calendar. Bills considered dealt with a variety of topics on different subjects. House Bill 192 would make it lawful to transport unopened beer and light wine on state and federal highways in dry areas of the state. This bill passed by a vote of 91-19. Similarly, House Bill 840 would give maritime retailers operating in the Mississippi Sound or on the Mississippi River the ability to obtain a permit to sell alcohol. This bill passed by a vote of 83-29. A tax credit would be offered to taxpayers who employ persons convicted of certain non-violent crimes by House Bill 175, which passed by a vote of 110-5. The House voted unanimously to pass House Bill 826, which outlines criminal penalties for the embezzlement or misapplication of perpetual care trust funds. These trusts…

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  Week of January 22, 2018 The House schedule was full of committee meetings this week, as next Tuesday’s deadline to have House Bills out of their corresponding committees quickly approaches. After Tuesday, Jan. 30, no additional bills will be added to the House calendar for consideration, and members of the House will begin meeting as a whole for longer hours to discuss the bills that made it out of committees. Despite the busy week of committee meetings, a few bills were introduced to the House floor for discussion. One bill that generated some debate was House Bill 559. The bill would authorize the Department of Finance and Administration to enter into a lease with a nonprofit for the development of a pediatric care facility for the severely disabled. Some legislators expressed concerns that the current facility would be relocated from one area of Jackson to another, but proponents said renovating the current location would be cost prohibitive to the project. The bill passed by a vote…

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  Week of January 15, 2018 Winter weather affected the Capital City in the same way it affected much of the state this week with many schools and state departments closing, but the legislature continued with meetings as planned. The sole piece of legislation discussed on the House floor this week was House Bill 957, which aims to overhaul the current MAEP education funding formula and replace it with the Mississippi Uniform Per Student Funding Formula. The bill, based on a series of recommendations from the consulting group EdBuild, would base school funding on student enrollment rather than teacher units. It sets the base student cost at $4,800 per student with additional weights added for students with individual needs, such as special education, gifted, low income and English language learners. Supporters of the bill say it provides an easier way to predict how much funding a school will receive and ensures fairness across school districts. They also say it will gradually increase the overall investment in education…

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  Week of January 8, 2018 Because it is early in the session, most legislative work is currently happening in committees where bills must be approved before they are introduced to the House as a whole. The deadline for bills to be filed is Monday, Jan. 15, so many committees are waiting until all bills are filed to hold meetings. Only one bill made it out of committee to be introduced to the House this week. In yet another effort to improve the state’s infrastructure, House Bill 722 would ensure that 35 percent of the use tax collected by the Department of Revenue would be distributed for the repair, maintenance and reconstruction of roads, streets and bridges. The 35 percent would be split three ways, with 15 percent given to municipalities, 15 percent given to counties and five percent given to a grant program administered by the Mississippi Development Authority to assist the municipalities and counties with improvements. Overall, this would mean that approximately $108 million would…

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Week of January 1, 2018 On January 2, 2018, the 132nd Mississippi State Legislature began the third session in its four-year term. Four new members joined the House of Representatives this past year as a result of special elections. Stacey Wilkes, R-Picayune; Missy McGee, R-Hattiesburg; Cheikh Taylor, D-Starkville and Kevin Ford, R-Vicksburg joined the roster of representatives for the 2018 Legislative Session. Though it is early in the session, there were a couple of bills passed through committees and introduced on the House floor. All of the bills discussed dealt with the maintenance and repair of roads and bridges, a topic which will likely be heavily discussed this session. One measure introduced was House Bill 354, which aims to set aside any state revenue growth of more than two percent for the repair and reconstruction of state, county and municipal roads and bridges. This measure passed by a vote of 118-2. Another was House Bill 357, legislation that would authorize the issuance of $50 million in bonds…

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