Rep. Dana Criswell - From Your Capitol, Week of March 12, 2018
The Mississippi legislature adjourned for the week on Thursday, cutting another day from the session to save taxpayer dollars. This week, the House considered the remaining bills passed by the Senate.
Here are a few highlights of bills that were passed this week:
HB 1122: This bill limits regulations on farms and agricultural businesses in our state. It prevents local governments from passing burdensome regulations that make it more difficult to do business. The bill was sent to the Governor for his signature this week.
HB 387: This bill implements recommendations of the state Re-Entry Council to help promote employment among those who have had an interaction with the criminal justice system. This bill will increase employment opportunities and provide significant cost savings to the state. The House concurred on the Senate’s amendments to this bill, sending it to the Governor for his signature. You can read more about the bill here from Americans for Prosperity.
SB 2568: This bill is called “Katie’s Law.” It requires the State Crime Lab to maintain DNA samples unless a defendant is found not guilty and asks that their samples be destroyed. This bill is intended to help solve more violent crimes by keeping DNA samples on file which can be referenced when investigating reports of violent offenses. The Senate concurred in the House’s amendments, sending the bill to the Governor for his signature.
More on Taxes
This week there was a threat of an increase in Mississippi's cigarette tax. It's amazing to me how often a group of politicians what to raise taxes. Every year they look for ways to increase the amount of money they take from the people of Mississippi.
Currently the cigarette tax in an additional 68 cents per pack over the normal sales tax of 7%. The proposal was to increase that to $1.50 per pack. The proponents of the tax increase claim that by simply raising this tax almost 50,000 Mississippians would stop smoking and the state would raise an additional $166 million dollars. I was never that good at math, but something just seems wrong about the way these folks add numbers. If their math and logic works, could we raise the tax to $10 per pack thereby preventing over 300 thousand people from smoking and raising over a billion dollars? Even with my limited ability in math I know that logic is wrong.
Luckily, those of us who believe in limited government and cutting taxes prevailed and the cigarette tax threat has passed this year with no increase.
Please feel free to contact me at Dana@DanaCriswell.net or on my cell phone at (901)275-4191.