Hoping to keep up with what is happening at the State Capitol this year? Look no further than the Y’all Politics bills to watch list. This list will be updated throughout the 2020 Legislative Session as bills die and survive.
SB 2001 – Teacher Pay Raise Bill
- The bill was filed by Chairman of the Education Committee, Dennis DeBar. It will increase the base pay for Single A teachers from $35,890 to $37,000, which is a $1,110 raise. Other teachers will see a $1,000 raise in the coming year.
- Passed in Senate Education and Appropriations Committees
- Passed in the Senate, transmitted to the House.
SB 2002 – Wildlife Trafficking Prevention Act
- This Act would prevent the purchase or sale of certain wildlife and tack on a civil penalty for doing so. The bill was authored by Sen. Jackson.
SB 2009 – Carly’s Law; Prevent future contact by sex offenders with victims
- This bill, authored by Sen. Blackwell would prevent any future contact by a sex offender with their victim. This includes but is not limited to telephone, mail or in person. It would exclude any allowances made by the court on behalf of the victim.
SB 2040 – Create a smaller Legislature
- This bill was filed by Sen. Blackwell and aims at reducing the number of Representatives from 122 to 99 and the number of Senators from 52 to 42. This would take effect in 2024, at the start of a new term.
SB 2045 – Flying of the Confederate Flag
- This bill, filed by Sen. Seymour would require that the state of Mississippi flag, which contains the Confederate Battle Emblem, be flown by all government organizations. This would include colleges and universities. It also protects private citizens who choose to fly the flag.
SB 2047 – Mississippi Minimum Wage Act
- Filed by Sen. Jackson, this bill would increase the current minimum wage of $7.25 to $7.50 on July 1 and then eventually moving to $10/hour by 2024.
SB 2055 – The Red Flag Law – firearms restraining order
- Authored by Sen. Jackson of the 11th, this bill would create the Red Flag Law, a process by which a persons right to possess firearms can be restrained if the person is a danger to themselves or others.
SB 2062 – Require attendance for kindergarten-age children
- Authored by Sen. Hopson, this bill would require that kindergarten-age children are required to follow compulsory school attendance at a licensed public, parochial, nonpublic or homeschool kindergarten program.
SB 2067 – Meritorious earned-time credited applied to parole eligibility
- This bill written by Sen. Hopson would allow for meritorious earned time may be used to reduce the time required to be served for parole eligibility. It would also specify that only those offenders who are otherwise eligible may be allowed this reduction in time.
SB 2080 – Probation and parole officers; limit number of cases that may be handled.
- This bill would cut down the number of cases and individuals a parole or probation officer could take on at one time. Authored by Sen. Hill, the bill would restrict that number to 100 max at any given time.
SB 2108 – Establish electronic application capability for college students in absentee voting
- Authored by Sen. Blount, a student absentee elector would have access to submit an electronic absentee ballot application under certain procedures. The Secretary of State’s office would also be required to establish a secure internet website to permit student absentee electors to submit an electronic absentee ballot application.
SB 2112 – Ban the Box; eliminate criminal background checks upon job application
- This bill would prohibit a public or private employer from inquiring or requiring the disclosure of a criminal record from an applicant for employment before that individual has been selected for an interview by the employer. If no interview is required before a conditional offer of employment is made, the bill would not apply. It was authored by Sen. Witherspoon.
SB 2115 – PERS; cap external investment management fees and require annual reporting
- This bill would be added to the code sections in Title 25, Chapter 11 in which investment contracts and the fees attached shall be cut in half, effective July 1, 2020. It also provides that the amount saved be paid into the PERS expense fund during the ensuing year. The bill was authored by Sen. Angela Hill.
SB 2148 – Create the Mississippi Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
- The intent of this bill is to combat pregnancy discrimination, promote public health and ensure full and equal participation for women in the labor force by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to women with conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or other. The bill requires things like reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers and prevents them from discharging or transferring that employee. The bill was authored by Senator Turner-Ford.
SB 2174 – Evelyn Gandy Fair Pay Act
- Authored by Sen. Turner-Ford, this bill has been brought to the Senate before. The goal would be to prohibit discrimination by industries by paying an employee less based on gender. It says “no employer shall discriminate in any way against any employees on the basis of sex by paying a salary or wage to any employee at a rate less than the rate paid to its employee of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility to perform.”
SB 2180 – Medicaid eligibility; revise to include certain disabled children.
- Authored by Sen. McMahan this bill comes in light of many families being denied Medicaid coverage for their disabled children, after being approved in past years. It is unclear why these denials are suddenly happening by McMahan’s bill would increase the threshold to cover many of these families.
SB 2189– Vaping; prohibit possession of alternative nicotine products by those under 18.
- The bill by Sen. Branning would prohibit any possession of a vape pen by anyone under the age of 18.
SB 2257 – State Auditor; authorize to examine tax returns necessary for auditing certain federal benefits.
- This bill would authorize for the State Auditor’s office to have the authority to to access the tax records of individuals who draw on public assistance programs, as well as the entities themselves.
- Bill passed the Finance Committee
- Bill was passed on the Senate Floor
- Bill was transmitted to the House
HB 21 – Increase salary of statewide elected officials
- Authored by Rep. Lamar, this bill would raise the salary for the Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the House to sixty-thousand dollars annually until January 1 of 2024. After that time the bill proposes that the salary for the two positions be raised to ninety-thousand dollars annually. It also calls for an increase of other statewide official salaries like the Governor, AG, Secretary of State, Commissioner of Insurance, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Transportation and Public Service Commissioners after Jan. 1, 2024.
- Rep. Currie has a similar bill in HB 222.
HB 50– Restore right to vote after all sentencing completed
- This bill would allow for every person in the state to qualify again for county, municipality and voting precinct of his or her residence and shall be entitled to vote in any election they see fit after all sentencing requirements are met.
HB 69– More funding for State Department of Mental Health crisis units
- One bill authored by Rep. Clark would allow additional funding to the State Department of Mental Health for crisis stabilizing units and outpatient services in the sum of $10 million. This money would come in addition to the budget dollars for the department.
HB 111- Remove statute of limitations for crimes against children
- This bill would remove the civil statute of limitations for abuse that is committed against a child. The would cover any misdemeanor or felony abuse or battery against a child including sexual assault. The bill was authored by Rep. Paden and Clark.
HB 166- Authorize firearm possession for nonviolent felons in their homes and cars
- This bill authored by Rep. Burnett would allow for nonviolent felony offenders to posses firearms or any other weapons like varying types of knives. This would exempt these individuals form the original statute that would not allow felons to poses a firearm.
HB 170– Require Governor and Division of Medicaid to negotiate and obtain federal waiver to expand Medicaid
- This bill, authored by Rep. Clark, would require those listed to enter into negotiations with the federal government to then gain a waiver of applicable provisions of the Medicaid laws and regulations to create a plan to allow for the expansion of coverage in the state.
HB 193– Mississippi River Delta Promise Zone Act of 2020
- This bill would establish the act which would provide counties that make up the ‘promise zone’ with the assistance of the Mississippi Development Authority and to use a regional approach to developing opportunities to increase job growth and offer new incentives for business development. The bill was authored by Rep. Hines.
HB 265 – Establish that state officials salaries shall not exceed those of adjacent states
- Authored by Rep. Read, this bill outlines what the annual salaries of elected officials shall be. It also instructs that all state position salaries, minus the governor, shall be set by the Legislature beginning July 1, 2021. It puts the responsibility of outlining these salaries on the State Board of Personal.
HB 272 – Dog and cat abuse, reporting must meet FBI guidelines
- This bill would fall in line with Mississippi’s act to create a felony first offense on any dog or cat abuse. It would clarify the reporting requirements to meet those outlined by the FBI which include a second offense to require no less than three years in prison and a fine no less than $1,000. The bill was authored by Rep. Zuber.
HB 358 – Teacher salary; increase base salary of beginning teachers to $40,000/yr.
- This bill would increase the base pay of beginning teacher salaries to $40,000. The teacher pay raise bill in the Senate would increase that base pay to $37,000 while also providing a raise for all teachers of $1,000. The bill was authored by Rep. Hopkins.
HB 497 – Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol; increase salaries of sworn officers by $10,000.00.
- The bill authored by Rep. Harness would require for all officers of the Mississippi Highway Patrol be afforded a $10,000 raise. It would begin for the FY2021-2022 year and continue thereafter.
HB 813 – Establish State Correctional Facilities Monitoring Unit
- Authored by Rep. Cockerham, this bill would create a unit within the Department of Public Safety responsible for monitoring the operations of MDOC.