From Your Capitol - February 23, 2020
The activity at the capitol increased considerably during the seventh week of this years session as all bills to be considered have been submitted and assigned to a committee. Committee chairmen and vice-chairmen were busy reviewing the bills assigned to their committee and legislators were busy building support for their ideas.
Prisons have been a major consideration this legislative session. Interim Commissioner Tommy Taylor briefed committee members on the issues the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) is facing and some of the ways they are addressing these problems. One solution Commissioner Taylor informed the committee of was the closing of Unit 29 at the state prison in Parchman, MS. This unit has been allowed by past administrations to deteriorate to a point that the commissioner believes it is impossible to return it to an acceptable standard for use.
House Bill 851 was discussed both in committee and before the House this week. The bill adds an additional member appointed by the governor to the Corrections and Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force. The new member will act as an advocate for offenders and families who have been directly affected by the criminal justice system. The bill passed and has been transmitted to the Senate.
Interstate Compact on Second Amendment Sanctuary
Many have asked about HB 753 - Interstate Compact on Second Amendment Sanctuary. I presented this bill to the Interstate Cooperation Committee this past week but was unable to get the votes to send the bill to the House floor for consideration. Chairman Tracy Arnold, the primary author of the bill, tabled the bill to give us more time to gather support. The compact is widely supported by Republicans but not by Democrats. Without the support of some of the Democrat members of the committee the bill will not move forward.
Worst Bill (so far) of this Session
HB 1017 allowed the city of Bruce to divert funds provided by the state, intended for Repairs, resurfacing and other improvements to roads in the City of Bruce to be used for the construction of walking and bicycle trails. I hope the people who live in Bruce are satisfied that their roads are in perfect condition, because apparently the legislature and their local officials prefer to build walking trails instead of fixing roads. If anyone ever ask why I vote against increased taxes for roads and bridges, this is why. Even when the state provides the money to fix roads and bridges, irresponsible politicians use that money for other purposes. This should make everyone in the state of Mississippi angry.
My Bills for the 2020 Legislative Session
HB 578 School term; revise to prohibit from starting before last Monday in August. 02/05 (H) Referred To Education Criswell HB 579 Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship Program; prescribe standards for participation. 02/05 (H) Referred To Education Criswell HB 580 State and United States flags; require state universities to display when in session. 02/05 (H) Referred To Universities and Colleges;Rules Criswell HB 581 Appeal from judgment by a county or municipal authority; revise standard of construction for determining constitutionality. 02/05 (H) Referred To Judiciary A Criswell HB 605 CON: delete moratorium on issuance of for home health agencies. 02/06 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services Criswell HB 606 Mississippi Access to Health Care Act; create. 02/06 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services Criswell HB 621 Tax Credit Scholarship Act; create. 02/06 (H) Referred To Ways and Means Criswell HB 641 Firearms; clarify licensing procedures for. 02/06 (H) Referred To Judiciary B Criswell HB 642 Local and private bills proposing to extend local tax for second time; require direct referendum. 02/06 (H) Referred To Local and Private Legislation Criswell HB 702 Stun gun; remove the term from the prohibited firearms category. 02/06 (H) Referred To Judiciary B Criswell HB 706 Firearms Protection Act; create. 02/06 (H) Referred To Judiciary B Criswell HB1068 Seizure and forfeiture; require conviction and establish procedures in relation to certain criminal offenses. 02/14 (H) Referred To Judiciary B Criswell HB1210 Industrial hemp; legalize and regulate for certain purposes. 02/17 (H) Referred To Agriculture;Drug Policy Criswell HB1267 MS Child Safety Account Act; create to establish child safety accounts and scholarships to nonpublic schools for certain students. 02/17 (H) Referred To Education;Ways and Means Criswell HB1343 Institutions of higher learning; require to ensure commercially reasonable procurement practices when purchasing aircraft equipment and services. 02/17 (H) Referred To Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency;Universities and Colleges Criswell HB1398 Seizure and forfeiture; exempt certain property from. 02/17 (H) Referred To Judiciary B Criswell HB1409 CON law: remove home health agencies and services from application of. 02/17 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services Criswell HB1473 Welfare Fraud Prevention Act; create. 02/17 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services Criswell HC 42 State of Mississippi; declare as "Second Amendment Sanctuary" state. 02/17 (H) Referred To Rules Criswell
Please contact me with your thoughts, your questions, and your ideas.