Senator Sampson Jackson Weekly Report
The senate gaveled out on Thursday, April 1, 2021, and the session 2021 was adjourned pending official Sine Die on Sunday April 4, 2021.
In our final week of conferencing, we adopted the Conference Report to House Bill 761 that would allow the state Veterans Affairs Board to “enter into loan or scholarship agreements with employees or students to provide educational assistance where such student or employee agrees to work for a stipulated period of time for the board,” to recruit and retain more nurses for veterans’ homes.
The Conference Report to Senate Bill 2834 was adopted and would create the Mississippi Historic Site Preservation Fund Grant Program; within the Department of Archives and History that will start with a $1 million legislative appropriation for granting nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organizations grants to secure and preserve “any Native American archeology site, (b) any endangered Mississippi battlefield property, and/or (c) any endangered Mississippi Civil Rights Movement historic site.”
Adopting the Conference Report to House Bill 747 would allow the Rankin County sheriff to launch a pilot work release program to gauge whether it can be a viable part of prison reform by allowing certain non-violent offenders to participate.
The jailed inmate would be allowed to work and earn money to pay fines and fees, restitution, travel costs associated with employment, child support and to save for re-entry into society once released. After one year, the program will be evaluated for its effectiveness and could be implemented by the Department of Corrections over a larger geographic area.
Among other conference reports adopted were:
• Conference Report to House Bill 520 that would amend existing law to create a special fund in the state treasury to assist cities in paying costs associated with road and bridge improvements and water and sewer improvements. It would help counties with costs associated with road and bridge improvements.
• Conference Report to House Bill 1091 authorizes the operation of microbreweries that can produce and sell their products on premises as retail businesses.
• Conference Report to House Bill 1095 would authorize the Department of Revenue to be more customer friendly and “compromise and settle,” certain tax issues.
• Conference Report to House Bill 1139 would stop the practice of having certain businesses pay June sales tax to the state on or before June 25.
• Conference Report to Senate Bill 2874 would require out of state contractors to secure sales tax permits from the Department of Revenue to obtain building permits to work on homes and business structures in Mississippi, especially in the aftermath of natural disasters like tornados, hurricanes, and floods.
• Conference Report to Senate Bill 2474 would authorize the Department of Health to allow charges and payments to be made between state agencies for services under the medical marijuana program.
• Conference Report to Senate Bill 2062, Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program, would authorize additional funding under for cities and counties when funds become available.
• Conference Report to House Bill 1197 would allow governmental entities to use the dual-phase design-build method of construction contracting over conventional construction when it fits the public interest because it saves money.
• Conference Report to House Bill 119 - Harper’s Grace Law – says bill only refers to "CBD solution" meaning a pharmaceutical preparation consisting of processed cannabis plant extract in oil or another suitable vehicle.
• Conference Report to Senate Bill 2798 would allow investor-owned electric utilities to participate in the expansion of broadband services by leasing for profit, unused fiber connections.
• Conference Report to House Bill 356 would grant immunity to persons proving information that results in a child abuse investigation.
• Conference Report to House Bill 631 would allow off duty law enforcement officers to use their department vehicles on their second jobs.
• Conference Report to House Bill 928 would allow the commissioner of corrections to have a deputy director who can supervise operations when the commissioner is away.
• Conference Report to House Bill 1245 would require the Department of Transportation to maintain state highway rights of ways in cities of 10,000 or less.
• Conference Report to Senate Bill 2799 amended the Mississippi Medicaid Program and changed some medical reimbursements.
• Conference Report to Senate Bill 2795 - Mississippi Earned Parole Eligibility Act – establishes a set of guidelines that provide certain inmates a path to parole. Persons convicted of murder and human trafficking are not eligible. Non-violent offenders and certain violent offenders would be eligible to earn early release after meeting standards and getting approval from the state parole board.
• Conference Report to House Bill 1135 would create a delivery service permit allowing retailers to send alcohol products directly to consumers’ homes. Age verification is one of several safety procedures to be put into place.
We made appointments to boards and agencies and passed a rules calendar honoring exemplary Mississippians.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve you. Please call me at 601-359-3232 if I can help you.