Monday, February 9, 2015

Weekly House Update.

Brent Powell, State Representative for the Rankin County side of the Reservoir provided the below weekly House Update, with hyperlinks and all.

MS House of Representatives summary for the week of February 2, 2015

House members devoted the first part of the week to addressing bills in committee in anticipation of Tuesday’s 8 p.m. deadline to move all general bills and constitutional amendments out of committee and onto the House Calendar. Bills not reported out of committee by that deadline are dead for the Session.

By deadline on Tuesday, 74.2 percent of the measures submitted by members had been killed. Of the 1,468 measures introduced by the general deadline, 379 survived and made it to the House Calendar.

The latter half of this week, House members began addressing Ways and Means and Appropriations bills, along with bills on the General and Noncontroversial Calendars. They took up more than 70 bills on the Noncontroversial Calendar on Thursday.

Some bills that passed include:

The passage of House Bill 1165 (HB1165) would move the tax free shopping weekend from the last weekend in July to the first weekend in August. Enactment of the measure would also add school supplies to the list of recognized items.

House Bill 185 (HB185) extends the definition of cruel and inhuman treatment to include verbal, emotional and psychological abuse for grounds of divorce.

(more after the jump)

Enactment of House Bill 389 (HB389) would prohibit texting, emailing and accessing social networking sites while driving. The bill passed by a vote 98-22.

Among those noncontroversial bills passed:

House Bill 132 (HB132) exempts drivers of church-owned vehicles that transfer up to 30 people from the requirement of having a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). While enactment of this bill would apply to all churches, it is specifically designed to help smaller churches that might have smaller congregations with fewer resources.

House Bill 227 (HB227) extends the Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for students with Dyslexia through the twelfth grade. Currently, the scholarship ends at the sixth grade.

House Bill 489 (HB489) relates to teacher/classroom supply procurement cards. HB489 would increase appropriations 50 percent more for teachers in their first three years of educational service to help them prepare their rooms. This bill also extends benefits of teacher supply procurement cards to teachers at specialty schools.

House Bill 602 (HB602) creates the Mississippi Re-entry Council, which would provide strategies to inmates to help reduce recidivism and would improve public safety as former inmates are being reintroduced into society.

House Bill 17 (HB17) allows coroners, emergency management personnel, and students and staff members who work at the Fire Academy to be included in the Law Enforcement Officers Death Benefits Trust Fund.

House Bill 950 (HB950) establishes the MS Works Scholarship Pilot Program which, if enacted, would financially assist students headed to community colleges who are interested in vocational careers.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I can be reached at or by calling 601-359-3770.

Rep. Brent Powell
District 59
Rankin County

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