6/22/20 - 6/26/20 Weekly Sessions Recap
This week, representatives were extremely busy working to meet deadlines and finish any remaining legislation. Wednesday was the deadline for original floor action on Senate bills, so any general bills left on the calendar died.
A large portion of the week was been centered around attempts to change the state flag. As leadership in both chambers worked hard to secure enough of their needed votes to suspend the rules (a required 2/3rds majority vote), some of us legislators have been fighting hard to send any decision to change the flag back to the people of Mississippi. In 2001 the Democrat governor (and Democrat led house and senate), set the precedent of giving our state a voice in the matter. One of our primary arguments has been that anything short, would be an attempt to strip the people of Mississippi of their voice.
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 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 the Senate, which will decide the state’s budget.
On Thursday, the House honored Dr. Edwin “Ed” J. Deuschle, who is a Vietnam veteran and current resident of Madison. Dr. Deuschle was joined by his family and Rep. Manly Barton (R – Jackson) and Rep. Mac Huddleston (R – Pontotoc), both of whom are also Vietnam veterans. The House had previously passed House Concurrent Resolution 68 commending Dr. Deuschle on receiving his service medals.
Precautions are still being taken at the Capitol to ensure the health and safety of both lawmakers and staff. The Mississippi Department of Health offered free COVID-19 screenings early in the week, and all who enter the building are still required to have their temperatures taken.