Transportation bills alive; equal pay and fake urine dead
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Tuesday marked the Mississippi Legislature’s third deadline of the 90-day session. It was the final day for House and Senate committees to pass general bills that originated in and already passed the opposite chamber.
Here’s a look at the status of selected bills, with HB to designate a House Bill and SB to designate a Senate Bill:
TRANSPORTATION — SB 3046 would divert some future revenue and borrow money to spend on roads and bridges. The House has passed a number of bills meant to divert current or future revenue to transportation spending.
OIL SPILL MONEY — SB 2176 originally sought to create a separate account in the state treasury for the state’s $750 million economic damage settlement from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. House amendments would try to put someone else besides lawmakers in charge of spending the money.
MEDICAID RULES — Both the House and the Senate are considering proposals to renew parts of the state’s Medicaid health insurance program, as they’re legally mandated to do this year. SB 2836 mandates studies of whether more spending should be controlled by managed care groups and whether payments to health care providers should be cut. The bill would change current limits on doctors’ office visits and prescriptions for Medicaid recipients.
TOBACCO TAX — SB 3048 makes no change to current taxes, but could be amended to change taxes later.
FELON VOTING — HB 774 requires a study of whether the state should allow people convicted of certain crimes to automatically regain their voting rights without having to seek legislative permission.
UTILITY LAWSUITS — SB 2295 would block the attorney general from suing over certain utility matters.
EQUAL PAY — HB 1241 would have required equal pay for equal work by some female and male employees.
ATTORNEY GENERAL POWERS — HB 1238 would have prohibited the attorney general from suing private businesses under the state consumer protection law for actions allowed by state or federal laws or regulations.
GANG PENALTIES — SB 2868 would have added penalties for gang members who are recruiting children to the criminal organizations.
FAKE URINE — HB 1080 , the “Mississippi Urine Trouble Act,” would have set penalties for selling fake human urine that’s designed to defeat drug tests.
FERTILITY TREATMENTS — HB 1198 would have required private insurers to pay for up to $20,000 to treat married people who are having trouble conceiving children.
WIND POOL — HB 948 would have required the insurance commissioner’s approval before the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association, known as the “wind pool,” could buy more backup coverage, known as reinsurance, above a certain level.
SEXTING — SB 2803 would have prohibited people younger than 18 from sending, receiving or possessing sexually explicit images of other minors.
CIVIL SERVICE PROTECTIONS — HB 355 would have removed civil service protections from Mississippi Department of Transportation employees for two years.
JACKSON COUNTY REAL ESTATE — The Senate Finance Committee killed HB 1166 , which would have subsidized a real estate development in coastal Jackson County.