The end of this week marked the deadline for House appropriations and revenue bills to be introduced and passed. Most legislation came from the Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees, while some general bills from the Senate were also introduced.
Although much of the state’s budget was discussed last week, several appropriations bills were introduced before the House. These four bills will help defray COVID-19 related expenses by appropriating funds to different state agencies: the Department of Health (HB 1749), the Department of Finance and Administration (HB 1750 and HB 1752), and the Department of Education (HB 1751). All four bills passed with bipartisan support and were sent to the Senate for consideration.
House Bill 1746 was one of the bills introduced by the Ways and Means Committee. The bill would temporarily reduce the rates of the Oil and Gas Severance Tax. HB 1746 passed unanimously by a vote of 111-0 and has been sent to the Senate.
The House Education Committee brought several Senate bills out of committee and onto the House floor this week. Examples of these bills include Senate Bill 2508 that would extend the repealer on provisions of the Mississippi Critical Teacher Shortage Act of 1998; Senate Bill 2283 would revise school districts’ provisions related to conflict-of-interest of employees and administrators; and Senate Bill 2511 would revise some licensure requirements for teachers. Each of these bills passed unanimously when presented.
Committees will continue to meet to discuss Senate bills. Over the next few weeks, more Senate bills will make their way out of House committees and onto the House floor for discussion. The same process will take place in the Senate as they review bills that passed through the House. The deadline for original floor action on general bills from the Senate is Wednesday, June 17.