Friday, Feb. 23, marked the deadline for House appropriations and revenue bills to be introduced and passed. The House Appropriations Committee finished considering bills regarding budgets for state entities last week, but the Ways and Means Committee still needed to approve a few bills to meet the deadline.
Assistance to the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District would be provided with the passage of House Bill 1631, which allocates bond money for a flood control project in that area.
House Bill 1651 would make way for more bond money to be provided for the improvement and revitalization of Mississippi’s railroads. The bill also designates money for a grant that would be awarded to the North Mississippi Regional Railroad Authority.
Legislation proposing how much bond money should be given to state colleges, community colleges and state parks – among other things – was passed in the form of House Bill 1649.
Each of these bond bills passed when presented on the House floor. The Senate has been busy working on similar legislation, and now the two groups will come together to begin deciding how much money will be put into each bill. This process typically lasts until the end of session when a final decision is reached.
Committees began to meet again this week, this time to discuss Senate bills. Over the next couple of weeks, Senate bills will make their way out of House committees and onto the House floor for discussion, while the Senate reviews bills that passed through the House.
One bill that has already made its way to the House floor from the Senate side is Senate Bill 2895, which would authorize the University of Mississippi Medical Center to remove and reinter remains found in the potter’s field property where the school was planning to expand.
The House also approved Senate Bill 2043, which would remove the prohibition that county veteran service officers may not hold additional elected or appointed positions, and Senate Bill 2644, which would allow the executive or deputy director of the State Veterans Affairs Board to be an active member of the Armed Forces.
On Friday, Fletcher Cox, Mississippi native and defensive tackle for the NFL’s Philadelphia
Eagles, visited the House chamber to be honored with House Concurrent Resolution 69 for becoming a Super Bowl Champion.
Students who are members of Future Farmers of America came from all over the state to visit the Capitol this week. Legislators also received visitors from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Girl Scouts, the Mississippi Academy of Physician Assistants and the Highway Patrol Cadet Class of 2018.
One of the major highlights of the week was having the TeenPac kids here from all over the state (quite a few from Desoto County), to learn the ins and outs of government, pray for their leaders, and present and participate in mock legislation and the legislative process. I dare say that many of them will one day wind up serving as Mississippi's future leaders. To learn more about TeenPac or consider enrolling your child or student in next year's class, please visit: http://teenpact.com/programs/state-classes/mississippi/