The 2020 Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature convened at noon this past Tuesday. Much of the week has been spent on ceremonial/procedural matters. Highlights from this week include:
Tuesday: Legislators were sworn in for the new four-year term. Representative Philip Gunn of Clinton was elected to a third term as Speaker of the House. Jason White of West was elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the House. In the Senate, Dean Kirby of Pearl was elected President Pro Tempore of that chamber.
Wednesday: Speaker Gunn announced the first committee assignments. Rep. John Read of Gautier remains as chair of House Appropriations. Rep. Karl Oliver of Winona will serve as vice chair. Rep. Trey Lamar of Senatobia will chair House Ways & Means, with Rep. Jody Steverson of Ripley serving as vice chair. House Appropriations met Wednesday afternoon and passed HB 1 which provides $18.4 million to cover the shortfall needed to fully fund the teacher pay raise passed by the legislature last spring, as MDE miscalculated the cost of all teachers receiving the pay raise.
Thursday: The full House passed HB 1 yesterday afternoon, so it now heads to the Senate for consideration. Statewide elected officials, with the exception of Governor-elect Reeves, were sworn into office for the new four-year term during a joint session of the House and Senate yesterday afternoon.
Tate Reeves will be sworn in as governor next Tuesday. Speaker Gunn may announce committee assignments next week. Although this legislative session is scheduled to last 125 days, Lt. Governor Hosemann and Speaker Gunn have indicated it will not last that long. Legislators have until February 20 to request general bills to be written and committees must report (i.e., pass) general bills originating in their own chamber by March 10.