Bills were still being referred to committees in the other chamber this week, so a lot of committees did not meet. Several bills died on the calendar:
HB 634, SB 2097, SB 2173, SB 2250 and SB 2579 provided tax credits for educational expenses at private schools. Such tax credits are a form of vouchers and decrease state revenues. We wanted these bills to die.
HB 102 and HB 145 provided additional funds for vocational education.
HB 110 provided mid-level funding for community colleges.
SB 2446 provided a separate appropriation for our state’s early learning collaboratives. They will continue to be funded via MDE’s appropriation bill.
SB 2456 provided a free car tag to teachers in critical shortage areas.
Click here for our latest bill tracking spreadsheet which reflects the following on several significant bills we are monitoring:
HB 572 allows an educator to take personal leave on the day before the first day of school, the last day of school, the day before a holiday or the day after a holiday in the event of death or funeral of an immediate family member. It has been referred to Senate Education.
HB 1392 creates an oversight committee comprised of 4 legislators and 3 State Board of Education members to evaluate the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) by January 2020 and decide if the organization will continue. The oversight committee also has veto power over any decision of the MHSAA. It has been referred to both Senate Education and Senate Accountability, Efficiency & Transparency.
SB 2675, the voucher bill, has been referred to House Education. Chairman Richard Bennett has not allowed any voucher bills to come out of his committee. As I have shared previously, the bill extends the repealer on the Education Scholarship Account Program (i.e., vouchers) from 2020 until 2024. The bill is not necessary this year, as the program is currently authorized until June 2020 and could be reauthorized during the 2020 Legislative Session.
SB 2770, the teacher pay raise bill, has been referred to both House Education and House Appropriations.
Both chambers adjourned yesterday and will not meet again until Monday afternoon. Committees in each chamber have until Tuesday, March 5, to consider general bills that originated in the other chamber. Senate Education is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon. House Education will most likely meet that afternoon, as well.