On Monday, the Mississippi Senate convened two hours earlier than their usual 4:00pm start to the session. Almost immediately Senator Dean Kirby motioned to suspend the rules to bring up a new resolution offered by Senator Kevin Blackwell.
UPDATE: On Tuesday March 16, the House took up the resolution to reconsider SB 2799. They also added an amendment, inserting the House’s version of the legislation.
The resolution passed bringing the Medicaid tech bill fully back to life.
Blackwell, who is the Chairman of Medicaid, offered SCR 535 which would revive the original language in the Senate’s Medicaid Tech bill, SB 2799. The resolution would essentially remove any deadlines previously placed on the bill. If the resolution also passes in the House, SB 2799 will return and remain on the House motion to reconsider calendar.
The resolution passed in the Senate and was immediately transmitted to the House.
The bill was previously killed on Friday, along with the House version HB 1008. With both versions dead, members were faced with finding a solution to revive the language before adjournment for the year in a few short weeks.
Otherwise, according to Blackwell, it would be up to Governor Tate Reeves to call a special session to pass the technical amendment legislation.
“The resolution will basically send our bill, the Senate bill 2799, back over to the House. As you know on Friday we did not take up their bill on a motion to reconsider. We adjourned, they were at recess to take a look in their words ‘to find out what the Senate was going to do,’ so when they came back in they knew very well that their bill had died,” said Blackwell. He said for whatever reason the House also chose not to advance the Senate bill.
Senator John Polk asked if any agreements had been made with the House to ensure that the tech bill would go through this time. Blackwell replied that no particular conversations have been had and he is making this motion on a good faith assumption that they will be reasonable.
Members began having hearings regarding Medicaid as early as August 2020. Four joint hearings were held prior to the 2021 Legislative session. Blackwell added that he and the House chairman Rep. Joey Hood also met with stakeholders throughout the process.
***Stay tuned for updates as this language moves through the chambers.***