Another bill passed in the chamber today provides more time to access procurement cards.

Today, the Mississippi Senate took up two of the bills that had been submitted aimed at addressing teacher pay schedules and providing flexibility in making classroom purchases: Senate Bill 2424 and Senate Bill 2422. Both bills were authored by Senate Education Chairman Dennis DeBar (R).

SB 2424 allows all school districts to process a single monthly or a bimonthly payroll for employees, in the discretion of the local school board, except for December, when salaries or wages are to be paid by the last working day. Salaries or wages are be paid at a minimum on a monthly basis.

Currently in Mississippi, teachers are only paid once a month.

Upon presenting the bill on the Senate floor, Senator DeBar said that the bill was one “we have all probably heard teachers ask for.” He said that through this bill, school districts would be given the discretion or authority to pay teachers twice a month.

“It’s not mandating that districts do this. However, it does give them the authority to do it and allows for it,” DeBar said.

It passed on a voice vote in the chamber.

Senator Chris Johnson (R) handled SB 2422. It, too, is a result of Senate Education Chairman DeBar’s public hearings around the state. Senator Johnson said teachers provided feedback on changes they would like to see in the dates of their procurement cards, and that is what this bill addresses.

Johnson presented an amendment that would combine two bills together where they were already seeking to change certain details such as dates for when teachers are to receive the procurement cards. This would provide the cards by September 1st and expire by April 1st of the following year. He said the cards would be able to be digital.

“This allows them plenty of time to spend the money throughout the school year. We were seeing some issues of where they were receiving them too late in the Fall, too long after school started, or that they were expiring long before the end of the school year,” Johnson said on the floor.

This bill also passed on a voice vote.

Both bills now head to the House for consideration.