Mississippi Leglislative Action Alerts

Legislative Update
Monday, January 23, 2012

House and Senate Activities
(Tuesday, January 24, 2012, the House will convene at 4:30 pm; the Senate convenes at 10:00 am.)

Senate Legislation. By referred committee:


Sen. Watson (R- Pascagoula) authored SB2214. This bill would require school districts to spend at least 75% of their funds on direct classroom instructional costs. also referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Sen. Watson (R- Pascagoula) introduced SB2242, which would authorize new open-enrollment public charter schools and would set criteria for the conversion of public schools to charter schools. This bill has also been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Public Health and Welfare

Sen. Collins (R- Tupelo) authored SB2221. This act seeks to require that applicants for public benefits undergo random drug testing.

Sen. Collins (R- Tupelo) introduced SB2224. This act would require that applicants for public benefits perform mandatory community service.

Scheduled Committee Meetings for Tuesday January 24, 2012


Committee Time Room
Judiciary A 8:30 am 113
Appropriations 10:00 am 201-A
Public Health and Human Services 2:00 pm 113


Committee Time Room
Tourism I Immediately after adjournment 408
Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Ten minutes after adjournment 408
Agriculture Fifteen minutes after adjournment 210

Legislative Update
Week of January 16-20

Speaker Philip Gunn (R- Clinton) announced his committee assignments
See committee assignments and calendar at


Since last week, the Senate introduced numerous bills.

Bills in Senate focused on education:
– improving the quality of the state’s educational system
– educating the very young and the elderly
– incentivizing high school excellence.
(There will be bills related to education offered by MSCCD and other advocate organizations in the near future – stay tuned.)

There is a focus on the education level of those who govern our public schools. – Sen. Jordan’s (D- Greenwood) SB2120 would require members of local school boards to have at least two years of postsecondary education.

Voting –
Several bills regarding the voting process were also introduced during the last two weeks.
Some bills aim to restore or grant voting privileges.
– Sen. Jackson’s (D-Jackson) SB2159 would allow eligible Mississippians to vote absentee by mail.

-Sen. R. Jackson’s (D- Marks) SB2125 would permit circuit courts to restore voting rights to eligible, non-pardoned persons who lost the right to vote as a result of a conviction.

Bills that directly focus on the voting process which would disenfranchise individuals with disabilities and seniors:

-SB2068 by Sen. Burton (R- Newton) would require that temporarily disabled voters seeking to vote absentee produce a doctor’s note verifying their disability and stating that the disability is to such a degree that it would be difficult for them to vote in person, or that going to a polling place could cause danger to themselves or others.

Now that committees have been named in the House there will be many bills introduced this week. We will send out reports this week and ask that you contact your Senator and Representative to inform them on how the bills benefit or hurt individuals with disabilities.

See committee assignments and calendar at

Remember the House and Senate can be viewed on “Live Webcast”
Check the schedules for each house’s convening time at billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/ls_webcast

Your Voice and Involvement is Critical !

Please join us

January 31 for
Legislative Reception
The South Warehouse
Jackson, MS
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

RSVP required – 601-969-0601

February 1st

Disability Awareness Day
Mississippi State Capitol Rotunda
8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Go to www.msccd.org or call 601-969-0601 to register.