Under the Dome 2/23/22

By Hunter Estes
February 23, 2022

I hope all is well!

The Legislature continues to move at full speed. It is critical that Mississippi citizens stay informed so that they can remain knowledgeable about how their legislators are representing them and whether those legislators are working to safeguard our fundamental rights and liberties.

Here’s your update on The Good, The Bad, and The Interesting. I hope you find it helpful!

The Good:
- Gov. Reeves announced a new program to support Mississippi military families. The initiative will highlight ways that schools can be more flexible and supportive of students who move districts due to military requirements.

- HB 917 by Rep. Jansen Owen would remove burdensome obstacles from those seeking to participate in home-based work. With thousands of businesses being started from Mississippians’ homes during the pandemic, it makes tremendous sense that we would reward these folks with continued opportunity rather than punishing their innovative efforts.

- HB 512 by Rep. Trey Lamar would remove the Department of Revenue from being the distributor of alcohol for the state and would allow for the creation of a free-market-oriented system. It is about time the state eliminated the final remnants of prohibition. Controlling the sale of alcohol is not an essential task of the government.

The Bad:
- SB 2164 would create a Department of Tourism. I am all for encouraging people to come and enjoy the beauties of Mississippi, but we don’t need to continue the government’s vast expansion to accomplish this. Too often, these new departments replicate existing efforts but through a consolidated format that ultimately ends up costing the taxpayers more money.

- A range of Mississippi news outlets are pushing for the state to expand Medicaid. The facts are clear – Medicaid expansion has consistently failed to deliver the desired results. The care that is given often fails to be better than that received without coverage and, in some cases, is actually worse.
Furthermore, up to 50% of payments that the system makes in other states are improper and fraudulent. Altogether, there is no reason to put further trust in a ship that is already sinking. Pushing folks into a broken welfare trap that is spiraling out of control while failing to offer basic care is not compassionate, it’s reckless.

The Interesting:
- Many of y’all were interested in HB 1487, which makes One Mississippi by Steve Azar the official song of Mississippi. This bill passed the House and will soon be considered by the Senate. What do you think some potential alternatives to this could be?

Let me know what you think about these policy issues and others moving being considered by the legislature. As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to reach out!

All the Best,

Hunter Estes
Senior Director, Policy & Communications

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