Thursday, February 12, 2015

Senator Harkins' Weekly Update

Mississippi Senate Weekly Report 

It was another busy week in the Senate and here are a list of some of the issues that came before the us this past week: 

We passed Senate Bill 2380 that would allow proof of auto insurance to be displayed electronically on cellular telephones instead of the traditional paper card carried in the glove box or wallet.

Our passage of Senate Bill 2009 will allow the expunction of certain felony charges from the records of young adults up to 21-years-old. It could help decrease prison populations and it will help young people who have made mistakes to get a clean slate from which to start.

·         Senate Bill 2185 will require that CPR/AED be taught beginning in 9th grade starting in the 2015-2016 school year.

·         Senate Bill 2047 will criminalize the false reporting of child abuse or neglect and provide criminal penalties and civil liability. I have had parents call me about situations like this that they have endured and this will aid parents, that have been wrongly accused, repair the damage done by those that have maliciously harmed them.

·         Senate Bill 2170 will prohibit the City of Jackson from charging higher rates to certain customers in surrounding areas.

·         Senate Bill 2704 will require court officials to provide greater protection for child witnesses in criminal cases. Among the protections would be courtroom shields from which children could testify behind.

·         Senate Bill 2126 will establish a state-run witness protection program to provide close security until trial time for those in need.

·         Senate Bill 2207 will eliminate the portion of the alcoholic beverage license tax received by the state while maintaining the portion that goes to local governments. It would amount to about a $1.8 million loss to the state general fund budget, but would help cities to retain restaurants. Restaurants are basically being taxed on top of a tax. It charges additional monies on increments of purchases, like every time a vendor's order reaches a certain dollar amount the tax is charged. This is a double tax and should be done away with.

·         Senate Bill 2585 would give health officials authority to legally isolate persons with active tuberculosis if they refuse to do so themselves.


   Today is the deadline to get all bills off the floor of the Senate. I will have another report next week on what other bills made it out and are on the way to the House of Representatives. If you have any questions I can be reached on my email at jharkins@senate.ms.gov or on Facebook at Josh Harkins for Senate.

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