The deadline to consider revenue and appropriations bills that originated in the Senate occurred last week. Among other things, these bills detail how much money will be appropriated to a number of different state boards and departments. These include the Department of Revenue, the Department of Public Safety and the Institution of Higher Learning (IHL).
While most appropriations bills were passed in a block, a few were pulled out for individual discussion.
The Gaming Commission appropriation bill, Senate Bill 2986, was given individual attention when an amendment was offered to create a lottery in the state of Mississippi. Ultimately, the amendment failed, marking the last opportunity to establish a state lottery this year.
Appropriations for the IHL, Senate Bill 2954 and Senate Bill 2955, also garnered discussion when amendments were introduced that would require state schools to prominently display the Mississippi flag to receive state money. Both attempts to adopt the amendment failed, as did a similar piece of legislation from last week, which died on the calendar.
Most of these appropriations and revenue bills will be discussed at conference, a period during which representatives and senators will work together to finalize numbers in each bill.
As the 2017 legislative session winds down, several bills are being “concurred” upon and sent to the governor to be signed into law. Among these is the Health Care Collaboration Act, which will allow the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) to enter into a health care collaborative with other health care entities throughout the state. House members also sent the Back the Badge Act to the governor, which will double penalties for any crime committed against law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
On Wednesday, the House presented House Resolution 10 to leaders of Camp Shelby to commemorate the training facility’s 100th anniversary. Members also presented House Concurrent Resolution 25 to Jake and Shirley Sanford, founders of Veterans OutReach, a charity that focuses on bettering the lives of Mississippi veterans home residents.
Among visitors to the Capitol this week were members of the Mississippi Library Commission, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, the Children’s Center for Communication and Development, the Children’s Defense Fund and Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Lester “Bubba” Carpenter represents House District 1 in the Mississippi House of Representatives, including Tishomingo and parts of Alcorn counties.