Please scroll to the  bottom  to read my  newsletter  from the sixth week of the 2018 Mississippi Legislative session. Also, you can forward the newsletter to others who might want to be better informed about the political process. Thanks for your engagement. In the email, I have included the following:

*Photojournal
*Medicaid Bill
*Attorney General Bill
*Gun Bill
*Other Bills

If you click on the blue hyperlinks in the newsletter, you will be directed to a bill or article.

I got to spend some time with members of the Pafford Emergency Medical Services team at the Capitol. Pictured left to right is Greg Pafford, Dr. Michael Seymour, John Paul Gates, & Bubba Bell. 

I don't normally enjoy giving blood. However, these 3 pharmacy students convinced Representative Dana Criswell and I to take a prick to examine our vital signs. It was good to give them some practical experience. 

Representative Charles Young made a bold stance when he used his "unloaded" weapon to explain his point about why the House should vote against House Bill 1083. I voted against this bill that would allow those who had a enhanced concealed carry permit to take guns into public places (for example courthouses and college football games). Several university leaders have expressed concern about the bill. To learn more CLICK HERE to read the Bolivar Commercial Story that shares a few comments from University Presidents.


4-H Clubs of Mississippi was in Jackson on last week to visit the Capitol. CLICK HERE to learn more about 4-H Clubs of Mississippi.


Last week, Quade Blakes was a legislative page in the Senate chamber for Senator Juan Barnett. I attended the University of Southern Mississippi with his mother, Lekeylah White.
  Kevin Landry works for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources as the Oyster Hatchery Manager. We talked about what oysters mean to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I explained what catfish mean to the Mississippi Delta Region.
  Justin Warfield is the House of Representatives head page this year. He has done a good job managing the young people that have come to the Capitol each week during this legislative session.
2018 Mississippi Legislative 
Session  (Week 6)
 
The House met as a whole throughout the week to discuss bills that made it out of committees and onto the calendar. Floor debate dominated legislative activity during the past week as we worked to meet the deadline for consideration of measures originating in the House. In other words, Thursday, February 8th was the deadline for Representatives to discuss House Bills. Any bills that were not discussed by Thursday died on the calendar.

Medicaid

House Bill 898 concerns our Medicaid program which serves over 760,000 Mississippians who qualify for government help in receiving healthcare. The measure was styled as a "technical" bill because it addresses certain program technicalities. The proposed legislation revises some services. Those include removing the annual limit on physician visits, authorizing OB/GYNs to be reimbursed as primary care physicians, deleting the annual limit on the number of home health visits covered, deleting the monthly limit on prescription drugs for Medicaid recipients, providing for increased reimbursement for psychiatrists, and providing treatment for people that suffer from opioid abuse. 

Several amendments did not succeed to create Total Cost of Care for Working Families. The change would have provided healthcare to those who work, but are too poor to pay substantial insurance premiums. Mississippi is losing billions of federal dollars that would help support rural hospitals and the jobs they create. Most importantly, it helps to maintain a healthy citizenry. The bill also voids three contracts awarded by the Division of Medicaid to managed care companies, which would allow for new companies to apply for those contracts. The bill passed by a nonpartisan vote of 108-3.

Attorney General

In my opinion, House Bill 1238 was introduced in an effort to strip the Attorney General's Office from pursuing cases protecting consumers. The Attorney General's Office has a long history of taking up for consumers when they are harmed by bad actions. After intensive debate, the measure passed the House narrowly by a vote of 58-54 and was held on a motion to reconsider. On Friday morning, the bill was tabled by pointing out important Attorney General actions on behalf of Mississippians could cease if the bill becomes law. The valiant efforts of bipartisan dissenters failed by a vote of 55-50. The measure will now be considered by the Senate.

Gun Laws

Several members raised the issue related to expanding the gun carry laws. Concerns about House Bill 1083 were voiced by college football coaches and even the Southeastern Conference (SEC) who fear gun violence might erupt during games if the measure passes. The potential effects of the bill include that individuals would be allowed to carry loaded weapons into public places including courthouses, ballgames, and other places where groups of people might be present. While I recognize the Second Amendment's premise that citizens have a right to possess firearms, I believe this measure could have unanticipated and potential consequences that may lead to death. Efforts to stop this bill from moving forward failed by a vote of 80-29.   

Other Bills

One of the first bills that passed this week was House Bill 1476, which would revise the requirements for obtaining a real estate brokers license. Under the bill, a person would have to work as a real estate salesperson for at least three years before sitting for the broker's exam. The bill passed by a vote of 81-34.

Various provisions relating to the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association (MWUA) would be revised with the passage of House Bill 948. This bill proposes that money would be provided from the non-admitted policy fee to rural fire truck grants and require MWUA to receive approval from the Insurance Commissioner when reinsurance would exceed a certain amount. The bill passed by a vote of 92-23.

With the passage of House Bill 1331 anyone would be able to report someone who does not stop for a school bus as opposed to the current law which only allows police officers and bus drivers to report such an incident. This measure passed by a vote of 102-10.

A decision about distribution of BP settlement funds would be outlined with the passage of House Bill 1512, which would establish the "Gulf Coast Restoration Fund." The fund would be administered by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) who would be responsible for distributing funds to organizations that apply for financial assistance with restoration projects on the Coast. Any money that does not go into the restoration fund would also be distributed by MDA to different regions of the state. The bill passed by a vote of 110-7.

The House Insurance Committee introduced House Bill 1198, which would r equire that certain health insurance policies provide coverage for women struggling with infertility. This measure passed by a vote of 82-27.

The "Kaelin Kersh Act" would be created with the passage of House Bill 1202. This bill would require that any operator of an emergency vehicle must use the vehicle's blinking or rotating lights when traveling at a speed faster than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit. The bill passed by a unanimous vote from House members.

Visit, Call, or Email

I look forward to welcoming Mississippians to their State Capitol. I encourage you to come to the House gallery to watch your State Representatives in action. Want to contact a House Member? You can call the Capitol switchboard at 601-359-3770 to leave a message for a legislator. Also, you can mail your Representatives and Senators via group email at the following addresses: Representatives@house.ms.gov and Senators@senate.ms.gov. Each Representative and Senator will receive the email. Your voice matters!!!

Stay in Touch With Social Media

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    Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr. | 662-522-1400www.abemhudsonjr.com

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