First committee deadline passes. What’s alive? What’s dead?

By Steve Wilson
February 6, 2019

Tuesday was the first big deadline in the Mississippi Legislature for bills to make it out of committee and plenty of bills died without making it to the floor.

The next deadline is February 14, the last day that general (non-revenue) bills can be passed by the originating chamber.

Here are the some of the bills that survived and others that died:

Still alive

Senate Bill 2791 and House Bill 1352 are two criminal justice reform measures that have made it out of committee. SB 2791 would mandate evidence-based solutions to reduce incarceration and eliminate obstacles for ex-offenders to find work. The Reentry and Employability Act is sponsored by state Sen. Juan Barnett (D-Heidelberg).

State Rep. Jason White (R-West) sponsored the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which would clear obstacles for the formerly incarcerated to find work.

HB 337 and SB 2901 are bills that would exempt property owners and their employees from civil liability if a third party injures someone else on their property. The House version was sponsored by state Rep. White, while the Senate version was sponsored by state Sen. Josh Harkins (R-Flowood).

HB 623 would exempt school districts with A and B accountability ratings from the Mississippi Department of Education from certain mandates, including grade reporting and annual auditing of the district’s official discipline plan and code of student conduct. Under this bill, any licensed teacher employed at one of these districts would be exempt from continuing education requirements as a condition of their license renewal.

HB 702 would allow cottage food operators to increase their maximum sales to $35,000 and advertise their products on the web. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Casey Eure (R-Saucier), has been passed by the House and has already been transmitted to the Senate.

HB 1128 would reauthorize motion picture and television production incentives for out-of-state firms that expired in 2017. The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Jeff Smith (R-Columbus).

HB 1204 and SB 2759 would allow a municipality or county to execute the winning bid in a sealed bidding process if a judge hasn’t ruled on a protection request for bids within 90 days. The House version is sponsored by state Rep. Jerry Turner (R-Baldwyn) and the Senate version is sponsored by state Sen. John Polk (R-Hattiesburg).

HB 1268 would clarify some confusion in the law regarding time limitations for constitutional litigation brought by those whose rights have been threatened by government action. This would protect and advance constitutional rights in Mississippi. It was introduced by Rep. Dana Criswell (R-Olive Branch).

SB 2675 would reauthorize the Education Scholarship Account program until 2024 and was sponsored by state Sen. Gray Tollison (R-Oxford).


HB 19 would’ve required bond counsel to be selected through competitive requests for proposal process and was sponsored by state Rep. David Baria (D-Bay St. Louis).

HB 31 would’ve eliminated the requirement for a supervising physician for nurse practitioners with 3,600 or more hours in clinical practice and was sponsored by state Rep. Jay Hughes (D-Oxford).

HB 85 would’ve required a warrant for law enforcement agencies to use cell site simulator devices except to prevent loss of life or injury. It was authored by state Rep. Steve Hopkins (R-Southaven).

HB 173 would limit the salaries of the State Superintendent of Public Education, the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Executive Director of the Mississippi Community College Board to a pay scale of 150 percent of the governor’s salary, and was sponsored by state Rep. Bill Shirley (R-Quitman).

HB 118 and SB 2912 would’ve allowed homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities. At present, Mississippi law prevents homeschooled students from participating in extracurricular activities, such as athletics, in their respective school districts. A similar bill in the Senate by state Sen. Michael Watson (R-Pascagoula) also died without a floor vote.

HB 1113, SB 2825 and SB 2826 were all bills that would’ve changed the state’s Education Scholarship Account program. HB 1113 was sponsored by state Rep. Becky Currie (R-Brookhaven) and would’ve revised the eligible expenses under the program, eliminated the lottery for selecting eligible students for the program from the wait list and established an appeals process.

SB 2825 would’ve added ESA funding to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, the funding formula for K-12 education and was sponsored by state Sen. Chris Caughman (R-Mendenhall).

SB 2826 was sponsored by state Sen. Videt Carmichael (R-Meridian) and would’ve also eliminated the lottery method for selecting eligible students for the ESA program from the wait list, required the Mississippi Department of Education to enact an accountability program and established an appeals process.

HB 1491 and SB 2248 would’ve allowed out-of-state, licensed healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, optometrists and dentists to practice for a non-profit in Mississippi on a charitable basis. The Senate bill was sponsored by state Sen. Angela Burks Hill (R-Picayune), while the House version was sponsored by state Rep. Shane Aguirre (R-Tupelo).

SB 2693 would’ve pre-empted local regulation of short-term vacation rentals, such as Airbnb, and was sponsored by state Sen. Hill.

HB 625 and SB 2767  would’ve allowed the farming of agricultural hemp in the state. The U.S. Congress passed a farm bill in December that authorized states to start growing the plant, which can be made into thousands of products such as clothing, paper, shampoos and even insulation.

The House version was sponsored by state Rep. Joel Bomgar (R-Madison) and the Senate version was sponsored by state Sen. Willie Simmons (D-Cleveland).

SB 2183 and HB 708 would’ve allowed direct sales and shipments of wine to state residents. The Senate version was authored by state Sen. Bob Dearing (D-Natchez), while the House version was sponsored by state Rep. Charles Busby (R-Pascagoula).


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