This is the second week of the 2019 Legislative Session. Because it is early in the session, the committees are just starting to meet as bills are still being drafted, so the floor action has been light. Bills must be passed out of committee before they are considered by the House. The deadline for the introduction of general bills and constitutional amendments is Monday, January 21, so many committees are waiting until all bills are filed to hold meetings.
Though we had several resolutions come to the floor this week, only one bill made it onto the House floor. House Bill 366, or the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act, would allow electric cooperatives to provide broadband internet service to its electric customers. This would greatly benefit rural Mississippians. Five amendments were offered and voted on by the House. The first three amended some language and called for the electric cooperatives to be more transparent. These passed without debate. However, the fourth and fifth amendments failed after a vote. The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 115-3, and it will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
On Tuesday, Governor Phil Bryant delivered his final State of the State address to a joint session of the House and the Senate. He spoke of education, job growth, healthcare, foster care and infrastructure improvements.
Many groups from across the state visited the Capitol this week. These included the
Mississippi Association of Supervisors, Volunteer Mississippi and the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.