Thousands of bills die in committee after first legislative dead - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Thousands of bills die in committee after first legislative deadline

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The first major deadline was Tuesday for Mississippi lawmakers. And with that, thousands of bills are dead.
Some that lived to see another day: eliminating boundaries for charter schools, the religious accommodations act and the Jackson airport takeover.

But the state flag issue didn't make it as far as many had hoped. Take it down or keep it up were the competing messages from state flag rallies over the past several months. And lawmakers are just as divided on the issue.

"We need to change it and we need to change the state flag right now," said Representative Willie Perkins-D.

"Grab a petition," added Representative Alex Monsour-R. "Go grab the signatures. And then when you get them on the ballot, let the people decide. Because the people of Mississippi should decide what they want to do with their flag. If they tell me to take it down in a vote, I'll take it now. But not until then."

There was a long list of bills aimed at changing the flag this session. But they all died in committee Tuesday. The impact of keeping the flag flying is part of opposition's defense.

"It's obviously an economic driver," said Senator Sollie Norwood. "We still have individuals in the country that look down on the state because of the flag."

Others don't buy that argument.

"I've heard a lot of issues like they're talking about but it might hurt our chances in business," noted Monsour. "But we just landed one of the biggest economic development packages in the country."

Speaker Philip Gunn was one of the first officials to make a clear stand against the flag.

"The flag is going to change. We can deal with it now or leave for future generations to address," said Speaker Gunn in a statement Wednesday. "I believe our state needs to address it now. I am disappointed that nothing took shape this year, but I will continue this effort. "

Those against the flag say they'll try to get something worked into a bill that's still alive this session. So, it's still a waiting game as to whether there's any change on the state flag.

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