Week of February 14th 2022
This was the seventh week of the 2022 Legislative Session. With general bills out of the way, representatives began working on appropriations and revenue bills. The appropriations bills will determine how much money is given to various state agencies.
The House is responsible for looking at the preliminary budgets of about 50 state agencies, including the Departments of Education, Transportation, Insurance, Health, Medicaid and Human Services. These bills represent half of the state’s budget; the other half is currently being considered by the Senate and will be sent to the House for consideration later in the legislative session.
Budgets include 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, many appropriations bills were voted on in a block to help speed up the process.
The FY23 budgets for these state agencies are recommended by the Legislative Budget Office. These budgets will not be complete until the end of the legislative session when they go to conference committees.
The House Ways and Means committee also took up several bills on the House floor this week.
House Bill 1662 would authorize issuance of bonds to construct a new Mississippi Armed Forces Museum. Currently, the museum, which underwent a renovation in 2015-2016, is at Camp Shelby. The location for the new museum would be owned by the Mississippi Military Department and would be located near Camp Shelby. The bill passed by a vote of 114-7 and has been sent to the Senate for consideration.
Other Ways and Means bills included a bill that would exempt the sales of coins, currency and bullion from sales tax (House Bill 426); a bill that would exempt property owned by a university foundation from ad valorem tax (Senate Bill 2769); and a bill authorizing issuance of bonds for various purposes across the state (House Bill 1663).
The deadline for original floor action on House appropriations and revenue bills is next Wednesday, Feb. 23. After that, House committees will begin considering general bills which passed through the Senate.
On Wednesday of this week, the Jackson State University football team, Sonic Boom of the South marching band, alumni and fans celebrated JSU Capitol Day. The football team was presented in the House chamber with House Concurrent Resolution 30, which commends and congratulates the Jackson State team on winning the 2021 SWAC Championship.
Other visitors at the Capitol this week included the Mississippi Library Commission, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, DuBard School for Language Disorders, Tougaloo College and the Mississippi Chapter of the National Association for Social Workers.