The Joint Legislative Budget Committee, on which I serve, met late this afternoon in the House Appropriations committee room to consider the latest recommendations of the revenue estimating group. The committee, chaired this year by Speaker Gunn, raised the official revenue estimate for FY 2020 by $56.2 Million (1%) over the November, 2018 estimate. This means that some additional funds will be available for us to use for next year’s Budget which the Legislature hopes to finalize this week. Conferees are now working, and the full House and Senate will be voting on FY 2020 appropriations conference reports in the next few days. ... See MoreSee Less
The two hardest working legislators at the Capitol, especially during the final weeks of any Regular Session, unquestionably are the respective chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees. Rep. John Read (R-Gautier), left, and Sen. Buck Clarke (R-Hollandale), right, are the primary decision makers when it comes to what the FY 2020 Budget ultimately will look like. The Legislature as a whole will make the final decisions, hopefully later this week. ... See MoreSee Less
Word came Friday that the Senate has confirmed Governor Bryant’s appointment of my Senator and my friend, Videt Carmichael, to serve a five-year term on the Mississippi Community College Board, beginning May 1, 2019. As a Senator, Videt has been a respected and effective leader, and in his new role will be one of the foremost champions for our state’s superb community college system. Congratulations, my friend! bit.ly/2FuIgcc... See MoreSee Less
MISSISSIPPI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WEEKLY SUMMARY Week of March 18, 2019
This was the eleventh week of the 2019 Legislative Session. Because it is late in the session, much of the week was spent deciding whether to concur with any changes made to House bills by the Senate, or to invite conference on those bills.
A conference committee is comprised of three Represemtatives and three Senators who work together to finalize the details of a particular bill before the agreed version is recommended to and voted upon by both chambers and, if passed by both, then sent to the governor. Included in the bills being sent to conference are most of the revenue and appropriations bills from both the House and Senate, which altogether will comprise the state’s budget.
On Thursday, Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2116 into law. “The Heartbeat Bill,” as some have called it, makes it illegal for someone to have an abortion after there is a detectable heartbeat in the womb. Usually this occurs at or around week six of a pregnancy. This measure is now one of the strongest pro-life laws in the United States.
At the beginning of the week, the House welcomed two new members who won their special elections last week. Representative Solomon Osborne (District 32) and Representative Ronnie Crudup, Jr. (District 71) were sworn in on Monday afternoon prior to session by Speaker Philip Gunn. Districts 32 and 71 were left open last November when former House members Willie J. Perkins, Jr. and Adrienne Wooten, respectively, each won elections for judgeships. Two House seats (Districts 73 and 101) remain vacant at this time.
Legislators at the Capitol honored many Mississippians this week for their positive representation of our state. While on a class field trip, teenagers Jacob Humphrey, Seth Humphrey, C.J. Holland and Austin McNemar were recognized before the House for rescuing a child from drowning two weeks ago in Leland. The House also recognized U.S. Marine Corps Corporal David Potts, Sr. for his long life of service as one of the first African-American Marines (HR 71). Several sports teams from around the state were also recognized for their accomplishments.
The House also honored Representatives Nolan Mettetal (R-Sardis) and Ray Rogers (R-Pearl) for their many years in the Mississippi legislature. Both veteran representatives previously announced they would not be seeking re-election in 2019 and had decided to retire. They were each joined by family and friends and were presented with HC 93 (Rogers) and HC 94 (Mettetal) commending them for their years of distinguished service.
Visitors this week include the Mississippi Head Start Association, the Small Business Development Center, the Mississippi Autism Board and the Behavior Analysis Association of Mississippi. ... See MoreSee Less
Governor Bryant on Thursday signed into law (effective July 1) HB 1477, of which I am the author. This new law will allow municipal authorities (within city limits) and boards of supervisors (in unincorporated areas) to maintain and repair abandoned public or private non-profit cemeteries. An increasing problem all over our state, abandoned graveyards are unhealthy and indecent eyesores, and most times there is no person who can be found with any legal responsibility to correct the situation. If such a disgraceful indignity exists in your community, after July 1 your local government will have the legal flexibility to address this need on behalf of the public. (The new law will not permit corrective work on private family cemeteries or for-profit perpetual care cemeteries). You may read the new law here: bit.ly/2Ft1zm0... See MoreSee Less