From Your Capitol - Week of February 6

Criswell_at_well.JPGThe 2017 legislative session is moving along quickly with this past week marking another major deadline.  The House met as a whole throughout the week to discuss bills that made it out of committees and onto the calendar. Thursday, Feb. 9, was the deadline for representatives to discuss House Bills. Any bills that were not discussed by Thursday died on the calendar. You can view the bills that are still alive here.

Legislation regarding internet sales tax, House Bill 480, finally passed the House with much debate.  This legislation will now move to the senate for more debate, I urge you to contact your senator and the Lt. Governor and express your opposition to the measure.  If passed, the State of Mississippi will suck $100 million out of the state's economy (that's in your pocket) and use that money to grow the size of government.  The State of Mississippi does NOT have an income problem we have a spending problem.

The death penalty became a topic of discussion at the introduction of House Bill 638. The bill revises the methods by which the death penalty can be carried out. In the event that lethal injection is deemed unusable, the death penalty could be carried out by use of a gas chamber, a firing squad or electrocution. Some oppose the death penalty because of religious or philosophical reasons, I believe it is an option societies have every right to use on the most heinous offenders.  This legislation is necessary to ensure that the death penalty can be carried out by giving alternatives in case one or more methods are blocked or appealed. The bill passed by a vote of 74-44. 

The introduction of House Bill 926 proposed the Health Care Collaboration Act. This act would authorize the board of trustees of the state Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) and the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) to enter into a health care collaborative with other health organizations in the state. Supporters say this act will save rural hospitals and consumers money, while helping to modernize health care in rural areas. I opposed this legislation because I believe it would give UMMC an unfair advantage over other hospitals that are not backed by the state. If this legislation continues and becomes law, I believe it would start our state down the road of creating one government-run health care provider.  The bill passed by a vote of 89-24. I voted no.

I was disappointed that HB1036 the Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia Program was not considered by the House. This is important legislation that would help children who struggle with this issue.  Those who oppose helping these students do so for the simple reason that they care more about maintaining a strangle hold on millions of education dollars spent by the state.  Those who oppose finding ways to help students succeed demonstrate, by their opposition, their lack of care for students.  

There is still hope for these students.  House Bill 1046 which expands the current dyslexia scholarship program to 12th grade, passed the House and will now be considered by the Senate.  This bill does not help as many students as our original bill but my hope is that the Senate will amend HB1046 to include the language of HB1036.

I agree with Russ Latino's statement that HB 1425 would ensure that regulations imposed on people who want to work are the least restrictive possible, declare Mississippi's commitment to free market competition and throw in the added perk of complying with the Supreme Court's requirement of active supervision to avoid federal anti-trust liability. It's a win-win for Mississippi. 

Ask your legislator to Free the American Dream and vote to move HB 1425 forward. You can write all of them at or call them first thing Monday morning at 601-359-3770.

I am thankful for the opportunity to represent the people of Olive Branch in their state government.  I will always stand for liberty and freedom.




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