From Your Capitol - Week of January 30
The final week of January was another extremely busy week at the Mississippi capitol. Tuesday January 31st was the deadline for committees to pass legislation assigned to their committee. Any bill not sent to the House floor is now labeled "died in committee". Many good bills were allowed to die in their committee, some because there was opposition and others because someone in leadership didn't want the bill to be considered by the House. But at the same time there was also many bad bill that died. More than 75% of the bills introduced did not make it past this deadline; of over 2,000 bills introduced this year, only about 500 are still alive today. You can view a list of the measures that are still active here.
The political process is a difficult and grueling process that is often lined with good intentions by some and pure evil intentions by others. Participating in this process is by far one of the most difficult task I've ever undertaken.
I was extremely disappointed this week when the House leadership brought House Bill 480 (Internet Sales Tax) before the House for a vote. This bill would impose a tax on all internet purchases made by Mississippians. This tax is illegal based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision, and it will suck as much as a $150 million dollars a year out of our state's economy (that means your pocket). That money will be used to grow government which always limits freedoms. This un-republican idea must be stopped.
I strongly opposed this measure and spoke against it on the House floor during the debate. I feel that many of the legislators in the House have forgotten their promise as Republicans. Support of this money grab is also in clear violation of the Republican platform.
National Republican Platform;
"We will consistently support internet policies that allow people and private enterprise to thrive, without providing new and expanded government powers to tax and regulate so that the internet does not become the vehicle for a dramatic expansion of government power."
The bill has been held up in the House by a "motion to reconsider" which is a procedural move that requires the House to vote on the bill again. The hope is that members will consider changing their vote and vote against this bill.
For more information about how this tax will harm Mississippi and it's citizens visit the Facebook page of American's for Prosperity-Mississippi
Bad Bills Coming this Week
HB699 - Department of Revenue; authorize to disclose certain taxpayer information to law enforcement entities.
This bill removes the requirement for law enforcement to obtain a court order before personal information can be disclosed from the Department of Revenue. This bill removes the court order requirement that protects personal information and due process in criminal investigations. Allowing the Department of Revenue to disclose personal information with out the safeguard of a court order places every citizen in danger. I strongly oppose this bill.
HB959 - Commissioner of Revenue; authorize to appoint an attorney on his staff to prosecute crimes investigated by the Dept. of Revenue
This bill greatly expands the power and authority of the Department of Revenue to collect more tax revenue from individuals. The government should seek to decrease the tax burden for the state. This designated attorney would have powers now limited to a District Attorney such as the ability to enter the grand jury room while the grand jury is in session and perform duties now limited to a district attorney. This is another bill that places the citizens of our state in danger and expands the powers of government. I strongly oppose this bill.
Good Bills Coming this Week
HB1036 - Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia Program
Student's who face the challenge of dyslexia have been ignored by many in our public schools. These children are often extremely bright but are overlooked and sometimes labeled as slow learners. This legislation allows parents to use scholarship money provided by the Mississippi Department of Education to find a non-public school that specializes in helping these children reach their potential. One such school is the Bodine School located in Germantown, TN. This school has been extremely successful in helping children reach goals they never thought possible. I fully support this legislation and will work to secure its passage in both the House and the Senate.
I am thankful to the people of Olive Branch for allowing me this opportunity to represent them in the Mississippi Legislature. My promise to them is that I will always vote in support of conservative, liberty minded principles. The vote of the people of District 6 is never for sale for my personal gain nor will I ever waver because of political threats.
The people of this State will prevail, we will overcome anyone who threatens our liberty and freedom.