JACKSON, MS – Constituent Report
Week 12 – March 21st – March 25th
This week, we started taking up general bills that originated in the House and likewise the House started on bills that were passed by the Senate. Similar to how we started the session, the House bills are referred to specific committees. So once again we went back to our Committee meetings. Once the bills come out of committee we take them up on the floor of the Senate.
Bills of significance that we passed this week were:
House Bill 659 “Noah’s Law” this bill would ban the retail sale of pure powdered caffeine products that have not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, to minors under the age of 18. Lawmakers said the over the counter stimulants have caused health problems in youth and have been blamed for deaths.
House Bill 1380 amended existing law to require immediate reporting of results of HIV and AIDS tests performed on persons arrested for sex crimes against minors to the Children’s Safe Center in addition to the Department of Health, who would alert that child’s parents or guardians.
House Bill 81 would allow Vital Records to give five free copies of death certificates for deceased veterans.
House Bill 110 would clarify that vehicles meeting or passing stopped school buses on the opposite side of a divided highway do not have to stop as is law if on the same side.
House Bill 1300 that would grandfather in sport shooting ranges caught in the path of municipal annexations. This would keep cities from forcing the facilities to close.
House Bill 396 would allow out-of-state residents who own vehicles in Mississippi to purchase car tags without having to purchase Mississippi drivers licenses.
House Bill 1292 would increase from 90 days to six months in jail the maximum penalty for a first offense violation of the Social Host law that forbids adults from serving alcoholic beverages to minors.
Week 13 – March 28th – April 1st
With the deadline for the House and Senate to vote on bills that originated in the other chamber being this Wednesday, March 30th, our schedules are packed with back to back committee meetings. Several of the House bills have constituents from not only our area but from around the state bombarding us with text and email. Most of the communications are form letters asking us to vote one way or the other. The majority of the messages are respectful but occasionally we get some that are pretty vile and threatening. Welcome to public service! Some of the bills that received a lot of attention were:
House Bill 1523 creates the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act”. This bill was debated for hours on the floor and contested by Democrats as being racist. The bill stems from the decision the U.S. Supreme Court made last year
House Bill 519 establishes “The Mississippi Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” prohibits gruesome dismemberment abortions. We heard very graphic details of how these abortions are conducted. I am not going to get into detail here other than to say it was sickening. And the irony is the very people who were calling us racists for the above bill had no problem voting against this bill. It appears if you have a high degree of moral and religious beliefs you’re a racist. But it’s okay to brutally dismember a living unborn child.
House Bill 786 allowed for the “Mississippi Church Protection Act” which lets churches arrange in-house security with certain, approved members bearing arms. Designated security members would participate in a firearms training course and carry an enhanced concealed carry permit. Lastly, it was my honor to offer my first Senate Resolution recognizing and congratulating