Rep. Dana Criswell - From Your Capitol, Week of January 29, 2018
Its early Monday morning and I’m finally getting around to writing my weekly update. Some of you probably know that in my real life, not politics, I’m a pilot for FedEx. When I’m not serving in the legislature I'm flying your packages around the world making sure they get delivered on time, every time. As a captain on a Boeing 767 I am required to undergo recurrent training in a flight simulator every nine months. I spent this past Saturday and Sunday training for engine failures and various other emergencies. Now that I’ve got that behind me I’m ready to take on the world of state government again.
The House spent most of this past week debating and voting on bills before the entire House. We passed several dozen measures this week. Here are a few highlights:
Increasing Efficiency in Government: This bill aims to increase efficiency in state government by requiring that state agencies consider state-owned property before leasing private office space. It also requires that an efficiency study examine how existing offices can be combined and reduced to save taxpayer dollars.
Workforce Development: Three important measures passed the House this week that will help better equip our state’s workforce. HB 1175 requires occupational licensing boards to review existing regulations that make it more difficult for people to earn a living. HB 175 and 387 reduce barriers to reentry for individuals leaving state prisons and remove restrictions that make it more difficult for these people to find honest work.
Mental Health Courts: Last year, the legislature authorized a pilot program for mental health courts. These are intended to help divert individuals from the criminal justice system who can be better served with treatment. HB 419 expands this pilot program statewide, allowing more options for individuals to get access to needed treatment.
Last week I wrote about House Bill 668 which repeals Mississippi’s vagrant and tramp laws. These laws have been used in years past as a means to discriminate against individuals. I am proud to say that with the help of Rep. Abe Hudson of Bolivar County this bill passed the House by a unanimous vote of 116-0.
The House also passed House Bill 1510, sparking debate among members, apparently there are some House members who support killing children. This bill would prohibit abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. I am proud to be a supporter of this bill because it would protect both the lives of unborn children and their mothers. There is nothing more important than protecting the lives of these innocent children. Since 1970 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports over 44.5 million babies have been killed in the United States by abortion. May God have mercy on our country. This barbaric practice must be stopped. The measure passed by a vote of 79-31.
Please feel free to contact me at Dana@DanaCriswell.net or on my cell phone at (901)275-4191.