A House leader is shelving a roads funding proposal he laid out just a few weeks ago in hopes that Gov. Phil Bryant will call a special legislative session to address infrastructure funding.
In late January, Rep. Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula, who leads the House transportation committee, floated a plan to raise the state’s fuel tax and eliminate the 4 percent income tax bracket.
But in an interview with Mississippi Today on Wednesday, Busby started walking back the idea, saying there is too little time to draft a bill and present it to legislative leaders before a Feb. 27 deadline to pass bills related to spending and taxation.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll get on with that program quickly and not just put it off, and that we will have a special session in the summer. The governor is saying he’d call a special session, and we’ll deal with it then,” Busby told Mississippi Today.
The Senate passed the bill 35-14 last week, sending it to the House for further action. The House had its own bill enhancing gang penalties, but it failed to advance.
The Legislative Black Caucus, meeting Wednesday, raised concerns that gang members could be prosecuted even if they commit no crime besides encouraging someone else to join a gang. They also say the crackdown will unfairly criminalize minority children.
Supporters say Mississippi has a widespread gang problem and that a new law will aid in prosecuting gang leaders.
The House, with no dissenting votes, approved a bill Wednesday to exempt college graduates working in the state from having to pay a state income tax for three years.
The bill, authored by Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, is being touted as an effort to address what some believe is “a brain drain” of young college-educated Mississippians leaving the state for better paying jobs.
Gov. Bryant celebrates 25th anniversary of Mission Mississippi
An African-American police officer says he was fired, then rehired and suspended, after a verbal confrontation with people carrying Confederate-themed flags outside the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum…
…Capitol Police would not discuss the case, referring all questions to the state Department of Finance and Administration, which handles hiring and firing. The department’s spokeswoman, Chuck McIntosh, said he could not discuss a personnel matter.
Jackson said he was hired by Capitol Police in December, after working 21 years in other law enforcement jobs.
HB 1083 would turbocharge litigation against universities that continue — as they have since a 2011 Mississippi Attorney General’s opinion — to draw distinctions between public spaces where firearms possession is allowed and non-public spaces where firearms possession is not allowed.
The bill would usurp the constitutional authority of the Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning and the university president they hire to be responsible for the safety of their students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the campuses through policies designed to maximize safety.
With all due respect to Chairman Gipson, HB 1083 would substantially change the existing university policies regarding how gun rights are balanced with student, faculty and staff safety. The Mississippi Legislature has for years known about glaring contradictions in state law regarding guns on school and university property and for whatever reason chose to allow those contradictions to continue.