Monday, March 15th, 2021
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Week 10 Mississippi
Legislative Overview
 This session is moving fast. Last week was the tenth week of the 2021 Mississippi Legislative Session. Additionally, Wednesday was the deadline for the House to discuss general Senate bills. To be more specific, any Senate Bills that did not make it off the House calendar and before the House chamber died. The deadline to discuss Senate appropriations and revenue bills will occur next Tuesday, March 16th. More than 80 Senate bills were discussed on the floor, including the following:

Senate Bill 2765, or the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, was the source of much debate on the House floor this week. The bill would have created an alternative to the medical marijuana program in Initiative 65 that was voted on by Mississippians in November 2020. During the discussion, several amendments were offered, and a few members raised points of order and other parliamentary inquiries. Eventually, SB 2765 was laid on the table, and the bill died on the calendar. Similar language to Senate Bill 2765 was added to “Harper Grace’s Law” (House Bill 119) in the Senate late on Thursday. 

Another greatly debated bill in the House this week was Senate Bill 2727. The bill would have revised the way members of the board of the Department of Archives and History are chosen. Since its inception in 1902, board members have chosen their own successors in the seat, which are then subject to Senate confirmation. SB 2727 would have given board appointments to the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor. The bill failed by a vote of 17-105.

Senate Bill 2119 would authorize the sale and purchase of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine in the state without a prescription. Since 2010, Mississippi has required a prescription to purchase medicines containing these stimulants. Senate Bill 2119 passed by a bipartisan vote of 117-3, and it has been sent to the Governor for his signature. The House passed a similar bill (House Bill 479) earlier in the session, but it has since died in committee. 

A few bills passed the House with unanimous support including a bill that would authorize a veteran to establish proof of military service for Veteran Driver’s License Designation in person at a DPS driver’s license station (Senate Bill 2294); a bill that would give the option to combine a concealed carry weapons permit with a driver’s license or other identification cards (Senate Bill 2253); and a bill that would allow the Department of Education to grant teaching licenses to teachers who already possess the equivalent from another state (Senate Bill 2267).

The calendar also included several House bills that were passed earlier in the session, sent to the Senate, and, are now, back before the House. With this process, my colleagues and I will vote on whether to concur with the changes the Senate made, or to invite conference for possible further revisions before becoming law or dying.
Got Federal Tax Questions?
Recently, U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson sent out some valuable federal tax information. Please Click Here to get updates about the upcoming 2020 tax filing!!!
Pre-K Facts You May Not Know...
According to the Children's Foundation of Mississippi,
3,016 (approximately 8%) of 4-year-olds in Mississippi were enrolled in state-funded Pre-K collaboratives. 5,841 ( approximately 15%) of 4-year-olds were enrolled in Pre-K programs funded by Title I or by local funds. In a survey conducted by the Children's Foundation of Mississippi, 83% of Mississippians expressed support for public, state-funded Pre-K system. As we consider investing more money into this program, the above are certainly things to consider.
Social Media from the Week
Delta State University's Winning the Race Virtual Conference
***Winning the Race: Delta State University's Winning the Race conference facilitates open dialogue on issues regarding race and social injustices to promote racial healing and an appreciation for diversity. Join us March 22th-24th!!! Please CLICK HERE register for this event.
Mississippi Ranks Top 25 in 13 Agricultural Commodities
#1 Catfish
#3 Cotton,
#3 Cottonseed
#3 Pulpwood
#3 Sweet Potatoes
#5 Broilers
#6 Rice
#9 Peanuts
#12 Soybeans
#18 Hay
#19 Corn
#22 Beef Cows
#23 Hogs and Pigs
Ten Mississippi Counties with Two County Seats
American Rescue Plan Impact and Funding for State Governments (Explanation of how funds can be used and amounts Bolivar and Sunflower Counties will receive below.)
  1. To Respond to the Covid-19 public health emergency or its negative economic repercussions, "including assistance to households, small business, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality."
  2. To provide premium pay to essential workers or provide grants to entities that have essential workers.
  3. To provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue of such State, territory, or Tribal Government due to the Covid-19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year, prior to the emergency.
  4. To support investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

Also, this is the amount areas (counties and municipalities) around House District 29 will receive:

Bolivar County- $5.9 million
Sunflower County- $4.9 million

Cleveland - $2.5 million
Indianola - $2.04 million
Ruleville - $576,542
Shelby - $439,453
Drew - $362,566
Rosedale - $358,056
Mound Bayou - $308,902
Renova - $168,430
Boyle - $132,580
Gunnison - $91,994
Duncan - $85,681
Merigold - $85,005
Beulah - $73,280
Pace - $54,114
Alligator -$42,164
Winstonville - $37,655
Week in Photos
The Mississippi Department of Corrections held a Recruitment Fair this Saturday in Shelby, Mississippi. Earlier in the week, they were in Mound Bayou, Mississippi.
Senator Sarita Simmons and I agree that there is nothing like being visited by folks from back home at the Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi. Thanks to Corey Hollingsworth for bringing Israel and Miguel to tour their Capitol building. Also, they got to visit the Two Mississippi Museums. I hope they enjoyed the rest of the Spring Break.
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Please text me at 662-522-1400 for additional questions or inquiries.