Week features debate over Critical Race Theory bill
This was the ninth week of the 2022 Legislative Session. The deadline for House committees to report general bills originating from the Senate occurred Tuesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. Any Senate bills that did not make it out of committees died. Members began working on these Senate bills on the House floor, and the deadline for these bills to be passed is next Wednesday, March 9.
The most debated bill that was taken up in the House was Senate Bill 2113. The bill would prohibit any school in Mississippi from teaching that any individual or group is superior or inferior to another based on race, sex, ethnicity or religion. The bill’s short title was labeled “to prohibit Critical Race Theory,” a hot-button issue across the country. Proponents of the bill said the bill would prevent discrimination in schools, while the opposition argued that passing the bill could prevent Mississippi and American History from being told truthfully. After more than six hours of debate, seventeen failed amendments and sixteen members speaking on the bill, SB 2113 passed the House by a vote of 75-43. The bill was then held on a motion to reconsider.
The House will continue to work on bills originating from the Senate until the deadline next Wednesday. All Senate bills approved by the House will be sent back with changes to the Senate where they can concur with the changes or invite conference.
Conference was invited on House Bill 530, or the START Act of 2022. This teacher pay raise bill was taken up in the Senate late on Tuesday, where the Senate introduced a strike-all amendment and inserted the language from their own bill. The final details of the bill will not be decided until conference.
On Thursday, the House recognized the Mississippi State Baseball team for winning the 2021 NCAA National Championship. Earlier in the session, House Concurrent Resolution 8 was passed, commending the team on their accomplishment.