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Friday morning, I received a text from a constituent saying her third grade class was at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, MS. I went over to find the the West Bolivar Elementary School 3rd graders learning about Mississippi history. Thanks to all the staff at both museums. Each interaction that students from House District 29 have had with you all has been outstanding!!!


Information that Impacts Mississippians

Below are a few items I believe you, as a constituent, Mississippian, or friend, might find intriguing. Please click the BLUE links below for information about the following topics: 


Not only was it Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Day at the Capitol on Thursday, but it was also Nurse Practitioner's Day to advocate healthcare issues. The Mississippi Delta was well represented. Mary Williams and LaWanda Wallace Baskin were all in the building to support both groups. Thanks for your service ladies!!!! Click Here to check our more photographs.

Newsletters

Missed my old newsletters for the 2019 session? No problem. Please click the links below to catch up on what's been happening in the Mississippi Legislature.



Check out what Mississippi Association of Educators think about the teacher pay raise...

Last week, the Electric Power Association's came to Jackson. Harold Pittman is the Assistant General Manager for Delta Electric Power Association.

Before I got elected, I thought I understood mental health. After getting elected, I now understand what underfunding the Department of Mental Health means. Thanks to James G. Chasten, Director of the  Mississippi State Hospital for taking some time to chat with me last week.

The MS House of Representatives unanimously passed Resolution #34 to commemorate Diane Tyner Ashley for 31 years of service. Diane served several chairmen and for the last few decades has worked in the Clerk's Office for the House. She greeted everyone with a smile and worked hard to fulfill every request. I wish her the best in her retirement!!!

The Mississippi Economic Development Council was in town to discuss priorities with its members and legislators. I got to speak with Executive Director Fred Lewis Washington (Sunflower County Economic Development) and Executive Director Milton Chambliss (Claiborne County Economic Development).

2019 Mississippi Legislative
Session (Week 5)

The fifth week of the 2019 legislative session proved to be the busiest thus far. Committee meetings to discuss House bills wrapped up early in the week because of Tuesday's general bills deadline. The House convened Wednesday through Friday to discuss the legislation that made it to the calendar. The bills that were considered dealt with a variety of topics. 

House Bill 816, or the Mississippi Educational Talent Recruitment Act, would work to prevent "brain drain" in the state caused by recent college graduates leaving the state in pursuit of more lucrative employment opportunities. If enacted into law, it would provide income tax incentives in the form of a rebate amounting to 50 percent of the person's state income tax liability for recent graduates of colleges and other post-graduate degree programs if they stay in Mississippi for at least five years and invest in the state. This also includes natives from other states who move to Mississippi upon graduation and meet conditions of the program. Personally, I believe the tax incentives would give talented individuals a reason to stay in the state and that five years is enough time to "put down roots." Several of my colleagues argued that while the bill was headed in the right direction, tax incentives are not enough to keep talented people in the state. The bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 111-2. 

House Bill 623 amends current law to exempt school districts with an "A" or "B" accountability rating from performing certain duties imposed on other school districts around the state. Some of these duties include reporting student grades to the Department of Education, participating in the Department of Education's textbook selection process, completing surveys and some continuing education requirements for teachers. Through an established grant program, "A" and "B" schools would also be allowed to offer certain incentives for eligible teachers, such as loan forgiveness and housing assistance. Proponents of the bill said that these incentives would help make the school environment more about learning and less burdened with bureaucratic oversight. Personally, I believe that this would further disadvantage students in "C," "D" and "F" school districts which do not have the opportunity to attend a better rated school. Opponents also argued that the teacher incentives would make it harder for lower rated schools to recruit good teachers. The bill passed the House 85-28. 

House Bill 1283, or the Mississippi School Safety Act of 2019, would require all school districts to conduct active shooter drills in the first 60 days of each semester or term. The bill includes recommendations made by the School Safety Task Force which Governor Phil Bryant created in June 2018. This was in response to several mass shootings around the United States. Debate ensued when opponents of the bill wanted to make student participation in these drills optional. Another topic of concern was that the drills would teach a student how to successfully carry out a mass shooting.

House Bill 677 allows bystanders to report a vehicle overtaking a school bus that is stopped. The bill would also allow a bus driver to prevent being overtaken by blocking the two outermost lanes of traffic. The origin of the bill stems from several children in Mississippi and around the United States who have been hit and killed by someone failing to yield for a stopped school bus in the last year. The bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 113-4.

Two bills from the Public Utilities Committee would help prevent spam phone calls to Mississippians. House Bill 763 provides that call spoofing is a violation of the Mississippi Telephone Solicitation Act and passed 110-6. House Bill 1045 increases the maximum civil penalties for violations of the Mississippi Telephone Solicitation Act and passed 115-3.

A number of noncontroversial bills also passed through the House this week, including a bill creating the "Mississippi Joint Municipal Law Enforcement Act" ( House Bill 260), a bill prohibiting the use of corporal punishment in public schools on students with disabilities ( House Bill 1182), a bill to allow athletic team physicians of nonresident sports teams to provide treatment to players at sporting events in Mississippi ( House Bill 977) and a bill authorizing Mental Health Courts to be created throughout the state ( House Bill 334). 

Floor debate will continue on these general bills until the February 14th deadline. Visitors this week included Jackson State University students and alumni, ladies from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Mississippi Economic Development Council and 4-H students from around the state. 

How to Contact Legislators

Please email your Representatives and Senators via group email at the following addresses: Representatives@house.ms.gov or  Senators@senate.ms.gov.

Stay in Touch With Social Media

You can stay in touch with Abe by using social media. Follow him on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Please click the links below and be a part of what's going on in the Mississippi Delta.
 
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    Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr. | 662-522-1400www.abemhudsonjr.com

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