Here’s a glance at the status of selected bills in the Mississippi Legislature. Tuesday was the deadline for House and Senate committees to consider general bills that had already passed the other chamber. Surviving bills move to the full House or Senate for more debate.
TEACHER PAY — House Bill 504 would provide a multi-year teacher pay raise.
RELIGIOUS PRACTICE — Senate Bill 2681 says government may not put a substantial burden a person’s right to practice religion. It also would add “In God We Trust” to the state seal.
PRISONS — House Bill 585 proposes several changes intended to make the prison system more efficient and less expensive.
WELFARE DRUG TESTING — House Bill 49 would require drug testing for some people who apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
ABORTION — House Bill 1400 would ban abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation, midway through a full-term pregnancy. Exceptions would be made to prevent permanent physical damage or death of the pregnant woman, or in cases of several fetal abnormalities.
SPECIAL ED VOUCHERS — House Bill 765 and Senate Bill 2325 would give parents of special education students public money that they could use for private schools or tutoring.
DNA-ARRESTS — House Bill 68 and Senate Bill 2430 would require collection of DNA from people arrested and charged with violent crimes such as murder.
GUNS — House Bill 314 says weapons purchased in city- or county-sponsored buy-back programs would have to be put up for public auction rather than destroyed. It also would ban any state government official or employee from confiscating any legally held weapon or ammunition if the governor declares martial law.
PUBLIC RECORDS — House Bill 928 attempts to cap the cost of fulfilling public records requests.
SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION — Senate Bill 2448 would require consolidation of Greenwood and Leflore County schools. Senate Bill 2620 would combine Montgomery County and Winona schools.
MDMR REORGANIZATION — Senate Bill 2579 would require the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to perform a yearly audit. It also would set education and work experience requirements for those hired in the department’s top administrative jobs.
HURRICANE INSURANCE — House Bill 756 would regulate when insurers can charge homeowners a hurricane deductible.