House weekly summary

Published 1:49 pm Saturday, April 3, 2021

This was the thirteenth and final week of the 2021 Legislative Session.  Legislators completed the last day on Thursday, April 1, after working through the weekend to finalize the state budget.  While many significant pieces of legislation did not make it through the process this year, several did and will now be signed into law by the governor.

The $6 billion state budget, completed in the last few days of the session, included an increase of $102 million to the Department of Education.  This brings the Education budget to $2.3 billion, which includes teacher pay raises of $1,000 each and a total of $16 million going to pre-school education.

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The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act will elevate the level of care for female inmates by limiting use of restraints on inmates giving birth, by providing feminine hygiene products for inmates who are in need and by placing incarcerated mothers within a certain distance to their minor children.

The Mississippi Computer Science and Cyber Education Equality Act requires the Department of Education to implement a computer science curriculum in all K-12 public schools.  Currently, more than half of Mississippi high schools do not teach a computer science course.

Mississippians will be able to purchase pseudoephedrine and ephedrine from pharmacies without a prescription.

Licensed retailers around the state will now be able to apply for a delivery service permit for the purpose of delivering alcohol to consumers.

Veterans are now authorized to establish proof of military service for a Veteran Driver’s License Designation in person at DPS driver’s license stations across the state.

Under Christian’s Law, photographs and recordings of autopsies around the state will remain confidential.  The law is named for Christian Andreacchio, a Meridian-native who passed away in 2014.

Mississippi schools are now required to designate sports teams based on biological sex.

Proposed legislation that did not make it through the bill-making process included the Mississippi Tax Freedom Act, the privatization of liquor sales in the state, the repeal of certain occupational licenses for workers including wigologists and art therapists and a bill allowing nurse practitioners to practice primary care without a collaboration with a licensed physician.

The House adjourned sine die on Thursday, three days before the April 4 deadline.  This concluded the 2021 Legislative Session, which was the second session in the four-year term.