This was the eleventh week of the 2019 Legislative Session. Because it is late in the session, much of the week was spent deciding whether to concur with any changes made to House bills by the Senate or to invite conference on those bills. In conference, representatives and senators work together to finalize the details of each bill before they are sent to the governor. Included in the bills being sent to conference are most of the revenue and appropriations bills from both the House and Senate, which will decide the state’s budget.
On Thursday, Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2116 into law. “The Heartbeat Bill,” as some have called it, makes it illegal for someone to have an abortion after there is a detectable heartbeat in the womb. Usually this occurs at or around week six of a pregnancy. This law is now one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States.
At the beginning of the week, the House welcomed two new members who won their special elections last week. Representative Solomon Osborne (District 32) and Representative Ronnie Crudup, Jr. (District 71) were sworn in on Monday afternoon prior to session by Speaker Philip Gunn. Districts 32 and 71 were left open last November when former House members Willie J. Perkins, Jr. and Adrienne Wooten, respectively, each won elections for judgeships. Two House seats (Districts 73 and 101) remain vacant at this time.
Legislators at the Capitol honored many Mississippians this week for their positive representation of our state. While on a class field trip, teenagers Jacob Humphrey, Seth Humphrey, C.J. Holland and Austin Macklemore were recognized before the House for rescuing a child from drowning two weeks ago in Leland. The House also recognized U.S. Marine Corps Corporal David Potts, Sr. for his long life of service as one of the first African-American Marines (HR 71). Several sports teams from around the state were also recognized for their accomplishments.
The House also honored Representatives Nolan Mettetal (R-Panola) and Ray Rogers (R-
Rankin) for their many years in the Mississippi legislature. Both representatives previously announced they would not be seeking re-election in 2019 and had decided to retire. They were each joined by family and friends and were presented with HC 93 (Rogers) and HC 94 (Mettetal) commending them for their service.
On Thursday, the Senate passed the Convention of States Resolution SCR596. It will be headed onto the House next week before the end of session. If passed, Mississippi will join 14 other states so far that are calling for an article 5 convention of the states for the purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
Visitors this week include the Mississippi Head Start Association, the Small Business Development Center, the Mississippi Autism Board and the Behavior Analysis Association of Mississippi.