How many bills became law?

By Steve Wilson
April 2, 2019

Mississippi legislators drafted plenty of bills this year, but very few became law.

Despite the largest number of total bills presented in the last six years, the percentage of them that became law (12.66 percent) was the second lowest in the same span.

There were 2,876 bills — 127 more than the six-year average of 2,749 — that were drafted in this year’s session, which ended Friday. With 104 of them being appropriations bills — which fund state agencies and make up the budget — that left 2,772 general bills.

Only 260 general bills were passed by both chambers in the legislature and either have been signed or are awaiting the signature of Gov. Phil Bryant. That’s a rate of 9.45 percent for those keeping score at home.

Most bills signed into law by Bryant will go into effect on July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year.

The average in the last six years has been 11.01 percent for general bills and 14.38 percent for all bills.

Comparing the session with last year, 9.5 percent of all general bills and 12.87 percent of all bills in that session became law.

While the number of bills dropped has gone up in the last four years, the number that survive the process in the legislature to make it to the governor’s desk has shrunk every years since 2016.

The highest percentage session was 2013, when 17.27 of all bills and 13.9 percent of all general bills became law. That session had 2,658 total bills and 2,554 general ones.

The chances that this year’s bills passed by the legislature are signed by the governor are good. This session, Bryant vetoed only three out of 366 bills after averaging four vetoes per session the last three years.

Here are the bills Bryant vetoed in this year’s session:

  • Senate Bill 2669 would’ve extended the repeal date on the Mississippi Development Authority’s Local Governments Capital Improvements Revolving Loan Fund. His veto message said another bill he signed, House Bill 713, reauthorized the program, thus eliminating the need for SB 2669.
  • HB 576 would’ve allowed the State Superintendent of Education to send a representative in their stead to the State and School Employees Health Insurance Management Board. The governor said in his veto message that it would create an undesirable situation and precedent regarding the composition of the board.
  • HB 666 would’ve increased the minimum age for the commitment of youthful offenders to the state training school from age 10 to age 12. Bryant’s veto message said the bill would prevent Youth Court judges from placing violent offenders  ages 10 and 11 in either the state school or secured detention.
Session yearTotal billsAppropriationsGeneralAll bills passed by both chambersGeneral bills passed by both chambers% of total bills passed% of general bills passed


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