Under the Dome - Your Update From the Legislature

By Hunter Estes
February 9, 2022

My apologies for not getting you a legislative update these past few weeks. I have been out of the office for two weeks of Army National Guard training. It feels good to be back, and I’m very glad to be spending more time walking through the Capitol than walking through the woods.

Without further delay, here’s a quick catch up on some of the good, the bad, and the interesting from this week:

The Good:
- HCR 39 from Speaker Philip Gunn would create a new initiative process that would allow Mississippians to make their voices heard. This is a major win for all those who wanted to see a revival of the initiative process in some capacity.
- HB 599 from Rep. Dana Criswell and Rep. Brady Williamson extends important accountability and transparency measures to counties and municipalities. This will guarantee that citizens have more clear access to how their local governments are run.
- HB 917 from Rep. Jansen Owen ensures the freedom to operate for home-based businesses. A record number of new businesses were created during the pandemic, many of these, home-based. These entrepreneurs should be applauded, and we support all efforts to guarantee their continued freedom to operate.
- SB 2797 from Sen. John Polk would require state agencies to report potential deficits and necessitate that they work with the state auditor’s office to reduce expenses. This is a positive way to tighten budgets and eliminate government waste of taxpayer money.

The Bad:
- SB 2731 reduces the income reporting requirements for food stamp recipients and increases the potential for welfare waste and abuse. With the massive amount of fraud that already exists within our welfare systems, there is no reason to loosen existing accountability measures. We need to ensure these programs are helping those they’re meant to, not those that want to cheat the system.

The Interesting:
- The Legislature is considering a vast range of pay raises for government employees across the state. Those individuals may very well deserve a pay raise, but I just wish the average Mississippian would see their pay increase as consistently as our public servants’ salaries do.
- HB 1487establishes the song “One Mississippi” by Steve Azar as our official state song. Personally, I think I prefer the Kane Brown version.

There’s a lot moving at the Capitol right now, I’ll do my best to keep you updated as we continue to fight for liberty here!

All the Best,

Hunter Estes
Senior Director, Policy & Communications

Ps. Be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for detailed updates about the legislative session. Check out our Legislative Tracker, too.

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