Tuesday is the deadline for committees to report general bills and constitutional amendments originating in the other chamber, which means it was a make it or break it day for a handful of items important to Mississippians. Here’s a list of prominent bills that have made it out of committee and are set to hit the floor for a final vote.
House Bill 530 – Teacher Pay Raise
After a day’s long standoff between chambers, legislators were able to find common ground on a teacher pay raise bill. HB 530 will now have the language of SB 2444 plus a raise for assistant teachers that comes from the original House bill. Making it through both the Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, the bill will raise salaries for teachers across the state by roughly $4,700 over two years if passed on the Senate floor. Due to the changes in committee, the bill will likely head to a conference where a final compromise will be made.
House Bill 770 – Equal Pay for Women
Representative Angela Cockerham’s equal pay legislation made it through the Judiciary A Committee. HB 770 would require Mississippi employers to pay women and men the same amount of money for the same work. Mississippi is the only state without an equal pay law in place.
House Concurrent Resolution 39 – Initiative Process Revival
HCR 39 would restore the people’s ability to put proposed state laws on the ballot with enough signatures—a process that was stripped by the Mississippi Supreme Court when it ruled that medical marijuana was improperly placed on the ballot in 2020.
Senate Bill 2033 – Postpartum Care Extension
SB 2033, which would expand postpartum care for women on Medicaid from two months to 12 months, made it through the House Medicaid Committee. In Mississippi, 86 percent of maternal deaths happen postpartum due to preventable conditions such as blood clots, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
House Bill 1487 – New State Song
Steve Azar’s song, “One Mississippi,” is one step closer to becoming the new state song after making it through the Senate Rules Committee. As Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann recently said, “it’s on a rocket.”