Thursday, January 29, 2009
Report from the MS Senate
Mississippi Senate becoming more pro-active in 2009
As we’ve gotten deeper into the 2009 Legislative Session, we have become more pro-active in the way we approach some legislation. Our passage of Senate Bill 2316 will make it a felony for anyone to commit acts of violence in our schools. This bill should provide a greater sense of security to our educators and administrators since it will seek increased fines and jail time against any person who strikes an educator, bus driver, school board member or others involved in the education process.
We also passed Senate Bill 2145 that would establish a recall process by referendum for school board members. This bill gives the majority of voters within a district means by which to hold school board members accountable. And we passed Senate Bill 2480 that clarified that voting would only be available on election days.
We had two bills filed that aim at state agencies, colleges and universities hiring of contract lobbyists with taxpayer money. They are Senate Bills 2731 and 2030. At our Ethics Committee hearings last November, we learned that well over $1 million had been spent by state agencies that lobbied the Legislature. Senate Bill 2731 will make the lobbying process more transparent by requiring the Personal Services Contract Review Board to pre-approve money that agencies plan to spend for lobbyists and will put other rules in place to regulate who can participate in the process of lobbying.
In coming weeks we anticipate taking up bills that deal with a cigarette tax for funding Medicaid, we will hear discussions on eminent domain and charter schools.
Senator Stone can be reached at the Capitol while in session at (601) 359-3770, by cell phone at (662) 224-4126 or by e-mail at: email@example.com. The Senate mailing address is P.O. Box 1018, Jackson, MS 39215.
News: (662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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