Three bizarre bills from the legislative session’s opening week

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Medical marijuana, congressional redistricting, and a teacher pay raise are at the forefront of most lawmakers’ minds but apparently, not all of them. 

Below, you’ll find three bizarre bills that were introduced during the first week of the 2022 Mississippi legislative session. Enjoy. 

The elimination of income tax…for people 100 years or older

Getting rid of the state income tax in Mississippi is a hot topic currently. It’s actually something that Governor Tate Reeves, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn all agree needs to be done. 

And SB2065 would eliminate the income tax, but only for people 100 years or older—less than 1 percent of the state’s population. Filed by Senator Joey Fillingane, SB2025 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. 

Stiffer penalties for pecan theft

It’s no secret that pecans are a big deal in Mississippi, and pecan farmers across the state are tired of their harvest being stolen. 

SB2071 would place tougher penalties on those who steal pecans. Current law caps the punishment at a $100 fine and 30 days in jail. This bill would change that to up to $10,000 and imprisonment of six months to 10 years. 

In addition, SB2071 would require “restitution to be made to the owner of the severed pecans,” whether it be through money or pecans. A similar bill made it through the Senate during the 2021 session before dying on calendar in the House. 

Protecting lemonade stands from the government

When you were a child, did you make sure to get a business permit before setting up your lemonade stand? 

Oddly enough, only 14 states as of 2019 allowed unpermitted lemonade stands. Senator Kevin Blackwell wants to make sure Mississippi stays one of them. 

SB2025 would ban local governments from requiring a license or permit for a business operated occasionally by a minor. 

“These laws impose inordinate and heavy-handed regulatory burdens on minor entrepreneurs who are not seeking to compete with fully established commercial entities operated by adults,” Blackwell writes in the bill. 

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