The 2023 Legislative Session has begun! It's been a little over a week since the state legislature gaveled in, and hundreds of bills have already been dropped in both chambers.
As I oversee MCPP's legislative affairs, I will be giving weekly updates to keep you all informed on governmental news, policies we want to highlight - both good and bad - and the status of our agenda throughout the session.
Candidates began qualifying to run for the 2023 elections beginning last week. Candidates have until the end of the month to qualify, but many incumbents have already done so.
Gov. Tate Reeves and Lt. Gov Delbert Hosemann will be seeking their respective positions for a second term. House Speaker Philip Gunn will not be running for reelection, but Speaker Pro Tem Jason White plans to run again, stating if elected as the new Speaker in 2024, he would gladly accept the role.
While most bills that have been dropped have not yet been discussed in committee, here are a few that have been introduced so far that we would like to highlight.
- HB 31 from Rep. Timmy Ladner provides penalties for knowingly making false accusations of a person committing a crime. This could help prevent misguided harm that could negatively impact reputations of the accused.
- HB 38 introduced by Rep. Henry Zuber requires new proposed agency rules to be approved by the state auditor. This would allow for more transparency in agency spending.
- HB 370 from Rep. Shanda Yates allows for a municipal recall. If members of a municipality feel a mayor or local elected official is not performing to the best of their abilities, they can call for the removal of a said official with a petition of signatures.
- HB 54 by Orlando Paden and both HB 80 and HB 99 by Oscar Denton infringe on our second amendment rights. These bills restrain certain Mississippians from purchasing firearms, an act that goes against our Constitution.
- HB 74 from Charles Young requires that all Mississippians ages 12 or older must carry photo identification with them at all times, and those found without an ID will be fined. While one must have a driver's license to operate a motor vehicle, simply existing does not constitute for means of providing identification.
- HB 45 from Gene Newman requires trash pickup if someone is found littering as a means of punishment. Along with easily paying a fine, offenders would have to learn from their mistakes by actually reversing their crime.
- HB 133 by Bryant Clark gives two or more municipalities the authority to create a joint police force amongst one another. While logistically I am not sure if this would be very successful, the concept is intriguing.
We are currently working with various lawmakers to see our plans put into action. A full list of MCPP's goals for the legislative session can be found here.
So far a few bills have already been introduced that support our agenda, with more to come:
- HB 370 which constitutes a municipal recall, as mentioned above, is a topic MCPP has been a consistent advocate for.
- HB 9 from Rep. Lee Yancey authorizes pharmacists to test and treat particular minor health conditions. MCPP believes in changing the state's healthcare system for the better, and we support giving pharmacists more jurisdiction.
- HB 10, also from Rep. Yancey, removes regulations and Certificate of Need requirements for certain medical facilities. While we support the overall removal of CON laws in the state, this is a great first step in repealing an outdated federal mandate that negatively impacts the quality of healthcare.
With a new year, comes new ideas, and MCPP is excited to promote conservative ideas over the next few months. We hope you'll follow us on this journey as we work toward creating positive change for our dear Mississippi.