House deals with compromise bill on teacher pay raises
This was the tenth week of the 2022 Legislative Session. Wednesday was the deadline for the House to discuss general Senate bills. Any Senate bills that did not make it off the calendar and before the House died.The deadline to discuss Senate appropriations and revenue bills occurred this Tuesday. More than 120 Senate bills were discussed on the floor.
The calendar also included several House bills that were passed earlier in the session, sent to the Senate and are now back before the House. With this process, the representatives will vote on whether to agree with the changes the Senate made, or to invite conference for possible further revisions before becoming law or dying. Many House bills have already been sent to conference.
One such bill that came back to the House with changes from the Senate was House Bill 530, or the START Act. The House submitted a conference report to the Senate on Thursday morning. In the $226 million plan, average teacher pay would increase by $4,850 and assistant teachers would get a $2,000 raise. The average starting salary of teachers would increase to $41,638, which is higher than both the regional and national averages. The plan also includes a proposal similar to the Senate’s teacher pay raise (SB 2443), which would provide salary increases of at least $1,000 every five years and $2,500 at 25 years. If approved by the Senate and signed by Governor Reeves, the plan will be implemented in the upcoming school year.
On Tuesday, the House honored Erin and Ben Napier from HGTV’s Home Town with House Resolution 65. Since 2016, the Napiers have been showcasing their home renovation projects around Laurel, which has led to an economic boom in the small Mississippi town. Erin and Ben Napier, joined by Mayor Johnny Magee, were presented with HR 65 by Representative Donnie Scoggin (R – Jones) commending them on their efforts to improve Laurel and Mississippi.
Other visitors at the Capitol this week included the family of World War II veteran Ben Richard Burney, filmmaker Curtis Nichouls, William Carey University’s School of Education, the Pearl River Community College cheer squad, the Meridian High School girls’ basketball team, the CEO and CFO of Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi, students from Itawamba Community College’s C.O.R.E. Program, representatives from the GRAMMY Museum in Cleveland, the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Civil Air Patrol of Mississippi.