The Legislative Report Header
February 5, 2021
The Legislative Report
The fifth week of the 2021 Mississippi legislative session began with the deadline for committees to report general bills originating in their own house. Any general bills not passed by committees by the February 2 deadline died on the calendar. Each house must pass its general bills by February 11, or the bills will die on the calendar. Below is a list of notable bills that are still alive:

The Senate Education Committee met Wednesday to discuss four bills and a list of Senate Nominations:

  • SB 2001 and HB 852 provide pay raises for teachers and assistant teachers across the state. Both bills increase the starting pay for licensed teachers with 0-2 years of experience to $37,000 and provide a $1,000 pay increase for all other teachers. These bills differ in the amount provided to assistant teachers. SB 2001 provides a $1,000 pay increase for assistant teachers, while HB 852 provides a $1,100 pay increase. SB 2001 will now travel to the House, while HB 852 is still awaiting consideration on the House floor.

  • SB 2305 and HB 1179 create the William F. Winter and Jack Reed, Sr., Teacher Loan Repayment Program. This program is designed to address the teacher shortage in the state by consolidating multiple unfunded repayment programs into one fully funded repayment program. This would be a three-year commitment that would incentivize new teachers to remain in Mississippi to teach in order to help repay their student loans. SB 2305 will now travel to the House, while HB 1179 is still awaiting consideration on the House floor.

  • SB 2149 would require the Mississippi Department of Education to hold school districts harmless when calculating average daily attendance for the 2020-2021 scholastic year. District’s average daily attendance for the 2019-2020 scholastic year will be used in place of the 2020-2021 scholastic year. The bill will now be considered on the floor of the Senate.

  • SB 2664 and HB 1123 both update standards and prescribe certain benchmarks under the Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013. HB 1123 also aims to revise the minimum funding levels under the collaboratives. SB 2664 will now travel to the House, while HB 1123 is still awaiting consideration on the House floor.

  • SB 2267 would allow teachers from out-of-state and in good standing to attain reciprocity to teach in Mississippi. The bill was amended to require a two-week processing time limit and to remove the requirement that MDE perform a background check on the applicant since a check is done at the district level. SB 2267 will now travel to the House.

  • SB 2798 will expand connectivity and accessibility of reliable, high-speed internet across the state. The bill would allow energy companies to lease fiber deployed along power grids which are currently unused. SB 2798 will now travel to the House.
Notable Bills Die
There were also a few notable bills that did not make it past the Tuesday, February 2 deadline and died:
  • SB 2726 proposed possible amendments to sections of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS).

  • SB 2040 and HB 316 both amended the Mississippi compulsory school attendance law to be fully applicable to kindergarten age children.

  • HB 35 aimed to revise the definition of a compulsory school age child to include those who have not reached the age of eighteen years on or before September 1 of the calendar year.

  • SB 2299 which sought to increase school board member pay.
The current deadlines for legislation are:

  • Thursday, February 11, 2021 — Original floor action on general bills and constitutional amendments originating in own house.

  • Friday, February 12, 2021 — Deadline for reconsideration and passage of general bills and constitutional amendments originating in own house.

  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021 Deadline for original floor action on appropriations and revenue bills originating in own house.
Day at the Capitol
MSBA’s Day at the Capitol, originally scheduled for March 2, 2021, has been postponed until further notice.
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austin gilbert
Austin Gilbert
MSBA Policy Manager