Committee deadline narrows number of pending bills at the State - - Jackson, MS

Committee deadline narrows number of pending bills at the State Capitol

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

Tuesday was deadline day at the State Capitol. This particular deadline has a way of clearing out more than half of the proposed bills. If they don't make it out of committee that day, the chances are slim that they'll see any more action this session.

There's been a lot of talk about school vouchers this session. Both the House and Senate had bills that would expand the current system. But it was Senator Gray Tollison's bill that survived deadline day. Scholarship money would be given with priority to special needs and low-income students.

But it would also allow those without disabilities to qualify for the money.

Another bill impacting kids was religious exemptions for vaccines.

"It's an issue that's going to require additional education," explained Representative Andy Gipson. "I have to say, a large number of legislators supported House Bill 1505 after the groundswell of support around this state. I think everybody agrees we need to do something. The question is what do we do?"

But late Monday, Representative Andy Gipson said he'd instead request a study committee be formed and take up the issue next year.

Medicaid reauthorization is one of the issues that had to be addressed this session. Senator Brice Wiggins says they're looking to cut the costs but also improve the health of Medicaid recipients in the process.

"Medicaid is a billion dollars in state dollars, 7 billion total and is the single largest budget item in the state of Mississippi," said Wiggins. "We would be derelict in our duty if we weren't trying to do that in my opinion."

Others made last-minute pleas outside the Capitol.

"It's time for our legislators and our Governor and everybody in this great state to reach out and acknowledge that the people of Mississippi are worthy of equal pay for equal work," noted Representative Tracy Arnold.

That bill did not pass out of committee Tuesday.

Other bills to note, a dogfighting bill did make it out of committee Tuesday morning. And several road and bridge funding bills have already cleared both the committees and the full House.

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