Under the Dome: Your Legislative Update

By Hunter Estes
January 12, 2022

We are now over a week into this year’s legislative session. Hundreds of bills have already been dropped in the House and Senate on a vast range of topics.

Let’s jump right into the update on The Good, The Bad, and The Interesting…

The Good:

  • HB 464, the College Sticker Price Act of 2022, from Rep. Donnie Bell, would have Mississippi higher education institutions create a public calculator that would allow prospective students to better understand the costs of college and the availability of technical and vocational programs. This bill would be a big win for transparency within higher education and would help to strengthen the Mississippi workforce and give prospective students the capacity for greater reflection before deciding on career paths.
  • HB 415 and SB 2089, from Rep. Nick Bain and Sen. Angela Hill respectively, would both place limitations on the salary of the Mississippi State Superintendent. MCPP’s Fat Cat Report, released over the summer, revealed the largesse that exists in the salaries of many public officials. We currently have one of the highest-paid superintendents in the nation. We applaud these attempts to reel in the administrative state.
  • HB 231, from Rep. Lee Yancey, would authorize public and private employee exemptions from Covid-19 vaccine mandates. Government vaccine mandates, especially those concerning private businesses, are a massive overstep of governmental authority. This is a good bill that defends the freedom of Mississippians from encroachment.
  • HB 493, from Rep. Steve Hopkins and Rep. Dana Criswell, would give greater freedom to licensed physical therapists to help patients. With skyrocketing healthcare costs, we need to take substantive steps like this to reduce barriers to access and drive down costs.

The Bad:

  • HB 54 would automatically register voters. Clean voter rolls have become a major issue for Mississippi and states across the nation. Areas that have instituted similar policies have often had tremendous difficulty with messy voter rolls with a range of folks becoming or remaining registered who should not.

The Interesting:

  • Speaker Philip Gunn released the Mississippi Tax Freedom Act of 2022. The legislation seeks to get rid of the income tax, which would have a profound impact on the Mississippi economy and would allow hardworking Mississippians to keep more of their own money. We’ll be reviewing the legislation and providing further details on the impact of the bill.
  • HB 444 would create a committee to produce an official state song of Mississippi. We can only hope that if this happens then Gov. Reeves, Speaker Gunn, and Lt. Gov. Hosemann will offer the first rendition of the new tune.

As bills move through the legislative process, you can stay updated on them, learn about what they do, and find out how your legislators are voting through our Legislative Tracker.

If you have questions about upcoming legislative issues, please feel free to send me a question.

All the Best,

Hunter Estes, Senior Director of Policy & Communications


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