The Mississippi Legislature’s remarkably successful Special Session last August resulted in a new Road and Bridge Emergency Repair Fund. HB 1 passed the House by a vote of 110-4, and the Senate by a vote of 48-3. Our efforts last summer bore fruit today when MDOT announced that 163 emergency repair projects in counties and cities all around the state would receive $250 Million provided through the fund by the Legislature. Locally, Lauderdale County and the City of Meridian will receive nearly $4.8 Million, and Clarke County will receive in excess of $2.2 Million.
Mississippi House of Representatives Weekly Summary Week of January 14, 2019
The second week of the 2019 Legislative Session is now in the books. Because it is still very early in the session, House committees are just starting to meet as new bills are being drafted and introduced before Monday’s deadline. As a consequence, floor action has been light, as is typical. Any bill must be passed out of the committee to which it is referred before it may be considered by the full House. The deadline for the introduction of general bills and constitutional amendments is Monday, January 21, so many committees are waiting until all bills are filed to begin holding meetings.
Though several resolutions came to the floor of the House this week, only one bill made it onto the floor. House Bill 366, or the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act, would authorize electric cooperatives to provide broadband internet service to their electric customers who elect to subscribe. Although there is no state funding or subsidies involved, the bill potentially greatly benefits rural Mississippians if their local electric cooperatives determine it is economically feasible to provide broadband service through an affiliate organization or contract with an existing internet provider.
Five floor amendments to HB 366 were offered and voted on by the House. The first three amended some language and called for the electric cooperatives to be more transparent. These amendments were adopted without debate. However, the fourth and fifth amendments were contentious and both failed after a vote. The bill itself passed as amended with a bipartisan vote of 115-3, and it will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
On Tuesday, Governor Phil Bryant delivered his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the House and the Senate. He spoke of education, job growth, healthcare, foster care and infrastructure improvements. It was Gov. Bryant’s final State of the State speech in his eight years as governor.
Many groups from across the state visited the Capitol this week. These included the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, Volunteer Mississippi and the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Locally, I was privileged to meet with representatives of the East Mississippi Electric Power Association to receive their knowledgeable input on the merits of the broadband bill, HB 366. Several Lauderdale County supervisors also met with me concerning potential legislation benefitting our area. Finally, I was honored to host a diplomatic delegation from India to discuss trade relations, economic development opportunities, and other matters of mutual interest to the people of India and of Mississippi. ... See MoreSee Less
Lauderdale County Supervisors were at the Capitol today strongly advocating the critical needs of County residents. I was honored to host these leaders for an important meeting in my office. Pictured from left to right are: Supervisor Jonathan Wells, Supervisor Josh Todd, Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Greg Snowden, Road Manager Rush Mayatt, and Supervisor Kyle Rutledge. Gazing down upon us (I like to think with approval) is the late Governor Tom Bailey, of Meridian. ... See MoreSee Less