RELEASE:

Mississippi House of Representatives Weekly Summary

Week of March 23, 2015

This week, conference members were assigned to bills the Senate and House members did not agree or “concur” on changes that the other chamber made to a bill. Conferees from the House and Senate began meeting to work on bill language, in hopes of reaching an agreement.

The deadline to file conference reports on Appropriations and Revenue bills falls this weekend. Conferees must file reports, or final versions, before 8 p.m. Saturday, March 28. Monday, March 30, is the deadline for adoption of those conference reports filed. With deadlines back-to-back, it is likely members and staff will work through the weekend.

On that note, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC,) led this year by Speaker Philip Gunn, met this week to adopt revisions to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 General Fund Revenue Estimate and the FY2016 General Fund Revenue Estimate. Committee members voted to adopt the revisions to FY2015, which was $101.6 million more than the November revised estimate. Committee members then voted to adopt the changes to FY2016 for a total of $5.66 billion, which is $30 million more than the November estimate.

Late this week, House and Senate members will begin wrapping up their discussions regarding the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) budget. Both sides must agree on how to spend the approximately $6 billion General Fund budget for FY16. At this stage in the conference process until the Saturday evening deadline is met and reports are adopted, exact numbers may change.

Once both chambers concur with the changes and adopt a conference report, that bill is then sent to the Governor’s desk. So far in the 2014 Legislative Session, Governor Bryant has signed 83 House Bills and 44 Senate bills into law. Some of these signed bills originating in the House include:

• House Bill 389 prohibits texting and accessing social media while driving.
• House Bill 739 creates the Property Insurance Clarity Act.
• House Bill 825 revises the Personal Service Contract Review Board
• Senate Bill 2185 requires CPR/AED to be taught as instructional component of physical or health education curriculum.
• SB2389 enacts a Compact for a Balanced Budget.
• Senate Bill 2687 creates the Mississippi Direct Primary Care Act.

Toward the end of the week, a reception was held to honor the 15 members of the House and the five members of the Senate who are retiring after this Session. Rep. Cecil Brown calculated that the retiring members served a total of 321 years—277 in the House, and 44 in the Senate.

3/26/15