Under the Dome - Update on the Mississippi Legislative Session

By Hunter Estes
February 16, 2022

A tremendous amount has happened under the dome of our Capitol building in the past week. The House and Senate had deadlines to move bills from their own respective chambers. So now they will begin considering legislation from each other.

A number of good and bad bills were allowed to die in the course of this process. Here’s an update on this week’s Good, Bad, and Interesting.

Hope you enjoy!

The Good:
- SB 2113 from Sen. Michael McLendon pushes back against the presence of critical race theory in our classrooms and reaffirms that no school will teach that an individual is inherently superior, or inferior based on sex, religion, ethnicity, religion, or national origin. This bill is an important step in standing for truth and defending foundational American principles. It passed the Senate overwhelmingly and will now be considered by the House.

- HB 1510 from Rep. Brent Powell seeks to strengthen the integrity of our elections by pushing back on the investment of external dollars seeking to impact our elections, ensuring that non-citizens are not voting, and more. Unfortunately, the House allowed for the removal of a section of this bill that would have strengthened the state’s ability to audit our elections and ensure that they have been conducted properly without improper influence.
The Bad:
- SB 2794 would have given every legislator a pay raise of $1,500 per month during the session. This would have given legislators over $6,000 in the first year of the session and an extra $4,500 every year after. Only four Senators voted against this proposal. Thankfully, it ultimately died on the calendar after a motion to reconsider was placed on the legislation.

Personally, I’m of the opinion that our legislators should be making greater efforts to fight for the return of taxpayer money to the pockets of Mississippians rather than to their own.

- SB 2731 would change our state’s welfare reporting model. A few years ago, we switched to a new model that revealed the state was making a higher rate of improper payments. In short, welfare dollars are going to folks who don’t need to be receiving them. The proposed solution to this is to switch back to the old model of reporting and sweep these numbers under the rug.

However, this fails to actually solve the problem. We need solutions that ensure state programs are helping those who need to be helped, not allowing fraud to continue to persist while turning a blind eye. The House will be considering this legislation soon.

The Interesting:
- The House and Senate have released dueling income tax elimination plans. Let’s be honest - only the House plan aims to truly eliminate the income tax in our state. Check out our video on the two proposals and why income tax elimination needs to be more than just a fairy tale HERE.

Let me know what you think about these bills and others moving through 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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