Speaker Philip Gunn took additional steps today to thwart state retirees’ – including public school educators’ – right to serve in the Mississippi Legislature. Two bills that would have enabled PERS retirees to serve in the Mississippi Legislature were introduced, voted on by a committee, and killed within the course of the afternoon.
The House convened at 2:00 this afternoon. As the House was finishing its work for the day, Rep. John Read, Chairman of House Appropriations, called a committee meeting from the House floor for 30 minutes after adjournment. House Appropriations met and considered the following two bills, both of which had just been dropped/introduced and referred to House Appropriations earlier in the day. In a rare move, votes on both bills were taken via a roll-call vote, indicating Speaker Gunn wanted a record of how committee members voted:
HB 601 would allow PERS retirees to serve in the legislature and draw retirement. House Appropriations killed HB 601 by a vote of 25 nays to 3 yeas. Click here for the roll call vote for HB 601. Representatives Banks, Clarke and Jackson voted for the bill. Representative Hines abstained. Representative Watson did not vote. Representatives Clark, Sanford and Young were not present. The remaining committee members – those with a “N” beside their name – voted to kill HB 601.
HB 604 would allow legislators to waive all or any portion of their legislative compensation and office expense allowance. You will remember that Speaker Gunn has refused to authorize a reduced salary for the three remaining recently-elected retirees. HB 604 died in House Appropriations by vote of 24 nays to 4 yeas. Click here for the roll call vote for HB 604. Representatives Banks, Clarke, Haney and Jackson voted for the bill. Representatives Hines and Watson did not vote. Representatives Clark, Sanford and Young were not present. The remaining committee members – those with a “N” beside their name – voted to kill HB 604.
These bills are now dead and will not move on to the full House for consideration.