Which tickets are alive and which are dead
Tuesday was the deadline for House and Senate committees to pass general law bills from the other chamber – a major ‘death deadline’ that has killed hundreds of bills with or without a vote in committee.
The next major deadline for the legislature is March 9, for the plenary chambers to vote on the other chamber’s omnibus bills. Most expense and tax invoices are subject to later due dates than general invoices. Although bills have died, it is possible that some will be revived by inserting language through the amendment process into bills that remain in force.
Mississippi’s 2022 legislative session began Jan. 4 and is scheduled to end April 3.
Here’s a look at the general bills that lived or died with the Tuesday night deadline:
Invoices still alive
House Bill 530: teacher salary increase. After a political game of cat and mouse, the House killed the Senate teachers’ compensation bill on schedule and the Senate, after much fear and loathing, passed the House bill. – modified with its own language – to keep an increase in teachers alive. Either version would be the biggest teacher pay raise in recent history, at more than $200 million.
HB 770 and SB 2451: Equal Pay Bills. Both bills survived the March 1 deadline. Mississippi is the latest state to not offer state legal recourse to lower-paid employees for the same job based on gender. However, women‘s equal pay groups criticized the House and Senate bills as having glaring flaws and called for them to be amended. The Senate also amended the House Equal Pay Bill to keep alive a proposal to reform divorce laws.
READ MORE: Will Mississippi continue to bypass equal pay women?
SB 2113: Ban the teaching of critical race theory. This bill divided lawmakers along racial and partisan lines. Proponents say it would ban the teaching of critical race theory from K-12 and at the university level. State Department of Education officials said critical race theory, which seeks to explore the impact of racial discrimination on various aspects of society, is not taught in schools. public schools. Some say the bill is so vague that it is unclear what impact it would have.
READ MORE: House committee advances anti-criticism race theory bill on racial lines
HC 39: Relaunch the State initiative process. This proposal would restart the process where citizens can bypass the legislative process and place questions on the ballot for voters to decide. The legislation is needed because the state Supreme Court declared the initiative process invalid due to a technicality in May 2021.
HB 606: Establishment of a trust fund for external stewardship. The measure, a source of debate between the House and Senate for two years, would create a conservation fund to use state dollars to raise federal grants for wildlife conservation — as many other states do. The Senate opposes the House plan to use sporting goods sales tax diversion to fund it, and deleted that language and said the Legislature would fund it annually. Proponents of the measure say such a fund needs a steady stream of income.
SB 2164: Creation of an autonomous Department of Tourism. It would be its own department instead of a division within the Mississippi Development Authority. It would also create the Mississippi Department of Tourism Fund and divert some of the sales tax revenue collected from restaurants and hotels there instead of the MDA.
SB 2273: Allowing employers to vouch for parolees, The bill allows employees of people convicted of crimes to provide reports to probation officers to avoid the employee having to leave work to report to a probation officer.
HB 1029: Increasing Broadband Access. This bill provides subsidies for entities wishing to extend broadband to rural areas.
HB 1367: Remove racist language from title deeds. This Bill provides landlords with an easy and inexpensive way to go to Chancery Court to remove old language found in deeds that is no longer enforceable and offensive. Language, for example, prohibiting black families from owning property can be found in the deeds.
Bills that died
SB 2643: Divorce Law Reform. This measure would have brought Mississippi closer to a unilateral no-fault divorce like most other states. Mississippi’s outdated divorce laws make getting a divorce difficult and expensive, often allow a spouse to delay a divorce for years, and lead to spouses and children getting trapped in bad family situations. The bill died in House committee without a vote. But the bill’s author, Senator Brice Wiggins, said the divorce language was inserted into a House equal pay bill that is still in effect.
READ MORE: Mississippi divorce laws are irrevocably broken. This Senate bill would be helpful.
SB 2634: TANF Savings Accounts. This bill would have provided matching funds to help social benefit recipients set up savings accounts, and the savings would not affect their eligibility for TANF benefits. The goal of the program, similar to those in most other states, is to help recipients become financially stable and get off TANF lists.
SB 2504: Creation of the State Parks Division. The move would have made a state parks division of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, with its own superintendent. Supporters say the state’s dilapidated and poorly maintained parks have languished under the MDWFP for years.
HB 630: Restoration of the right to vote. This bill would have clarified that people whose felony convictions are overturned under existing law would be eligible to vote.
SB 2261: “Buddy Law.” This law, named after a dog that barely survived being badly burned and tortured by a 12-year-old child in Mississippi. This would require children who torture dogs or cats to receive psychological assessment, counseling and treatment.
This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.