2018 legislative session comes to an end - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

2018 legislative session comes to an end

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

The 2018 legislative session is over. Lawmakers adjourned sine die shortly before lunch Wednesday.

Lawmakers wasted no time packing up the contents of their desk and heading home when they adjourned. But not everyone gave the legislature a passing grade for the year.

"This is one of the years I guess maybe we didn't get as much done as I had hoped we'd get done," said Rep. Alyce Clarke.

Speaker Philip Gunn says the House had a set of priorities going into the session.

"Number one was a rewrite of the education funding formula," said Gunn. "Number two was to come forward with a road and bridge plan. Number three was Medicaid. I will tell you that we in the House delivered on all three of those goals."

But the only one of those to clear both chambers was renewing the Medicaid plan. That's despite a Republican supermajority.

"Passing legislation is tough," noted Lt. Governor Tate Reeves. "It's supposed to be hard to change the law. I think just generally speaking that is the case."

Lawmakers did pass a 15-week abortion ban. It's already been challenged in court. They approved enough money for another trooper school and strengthened penalties for dogfighting. Still, a debate on new infrastructure funding carried over from the last session and didn't result in a bill getting passed. The House had a proposal that would've directed some of the use to cities and counties. But Lt. Governor Reeves brought forward a completely different proposal part of the way through the session.

"We certainly were willing to entertain the BRIDGE act," said Gunn. "We did. We looked at it. But in our opinion, it does not do anything. It does nothing to result in real dollars getting to the towns."

Reeves maintains the House and Senate versions of the bill weren't that different.

"If a $1.3 billion plan passed with little opposition from anyone, then that would worry me even more," added Reeves.

But he says there was a long list of individual projects added in by House members and says that ultimately didn't fly in trying to make a compromise.

That rewrite of the education funding formula is something both the Speaker and Lt. Governor say they'll keep pushing next year.

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