In some ways, this year continues to be a strange one at the State Capitol. But in other ways, sadly, it’s becoming all too predictable. Bills are being taken up in committees, and sometimes on the floor of the House or Senate without members being allowed enough time to read the bills, much less understand their ramifications. Some are being approved that are so outlandish that the best we can hope for is that the membership didn’t know what they were voting for.
For example, the House passed a bill that will take all future increases in gambling tax revenue and give it to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The first $80 million per year will fund the general operations of UMMC. The next $10 million per year will fund a burn center. All the rest, no matter how much that is, will go to the Trauma Care System, which involves UMMC and other special units around the state. Did the members really know that the General Fund will never get more revenue from gambling taxes than it got last year?
If you want to know how your legislators voted on this or other bills, go to mspolicy.org.