Rep. Dana Criswell - From the Capitol, Week One

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The Mississippi Legislature convened at noon on January 3, 2017.  This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Great State of Mississippi.  Mississippi is a state with a rich history of which we are proud.  Remembering who we are and where we've been, both the good and the bad, makes us better people today.  The people of this state are hard working individuals who take pride in their self-reliance and independence.  Happy Birthday Mississippi!

The capital city of Mississippi in 1817, when the first legislature convened, was Washington—now just a community in northern Adams County, near Natchez.  The first state constitution was written and signed in Washington, and the first legislature met in the Washington church pictured above.   In 1822, the capital was moved to Jackson, a much more central location in the state, where it has remained.

Like any year 2017 is poised to be an interesting year in the Mississippi legislature. Unlike 2016 which began very slowly this year is moving very quickly.  

Here are the legislative deadlines:

9th day 
Wed. Jan. 11

Deadline for making REQUESTS for general bills and constitutional amendments to be drafted.***

14th day 
Mon. Jan. 16

Deadline for INTRODUCTION of general bills and constitutional amendments.*

29th day 
Tues. Jan. 31

Deadline for COMMITTEES TO REPORT general bills and constitutional amendments originating in OWN House.*+

38th day 
Thurs. Feb. 9

Deadline for ORIGINAL FLOOR ACTION on general bills and constitutional amendments originating in OWN House.*

39th day 
Fri. Feb. 10

Deadline for reconsideration and passage of general bills and constitutional amendments originating in OWN House.*

42nd day 
Mon. Feb. 13

Deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider general bills and constitutional amendments originating in OWN House.*

51st day 
Wed. Feb. 22

Deadline for ORIGINAL FLOOR ACTION on APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills originating in OWN House.

52nd day 
Thurs. Feb. 23

Deadline for RECONSIDERATION AND PASSAGE OF APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills originating in OWN House.

53rd day 
Fri. Feb. 24

Deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills originating in OWN House.

57th day 
Tues. Feb. 28

Deadline for COMMITTEES TO REPORT general bills and constitutional amendments originating in OTHER House.*+

65th day 
Wed. Mar. 8

Deadline for ORIGINAL FLOOR ACTION on general bills and constitutional amendments originating in OTHER House.*

66th day 
Thurs. Mar. 9

Deadline for RECONSIDERATION AND PASSAGE of general bills and constitutional amendments originating in OTHER House.*

67th day 
Fri. Mar. 10

Deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider general bills and constitutional amendments originating in OTHER House.*

71st day 
Tues. Mar. 14

Deadline for ORIGINAL FLOOR ACTION on APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills originating in OTHER House.

72nd day 
Wed. Mar. 15

Deadline for RECONSIDERATION/PASSAGE of APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills originating in OTHER House.

73rd day 
Thurs. Mar. 16

Deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills originating in OTHER House.

74th day 
Fri. Mar. 17

Deadline to concur or not concur in amendments from OTHER House to APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills, and for INTRODUCTION of LOCAL and PRIVATE bills that are REVENUE bills.

77th day 
Mon. Mar. 20

Deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider concurrence or nonconcurrence in APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills.

80th day 
Thurs. Mar. 23

Deadline to CONCUR or not concur in AMENDMENTS from OTHER HOUSE to GENERAL bills and CONSTITUTIONAL amendments.

81st day 
Fri. Mar. 24

Deadline for INTRODUCTION of LOCAL and PRIVATE bills that are not revenue bills.

82nd day 
Sat. Mar. 25

Deadline for CONFERENCE REPORTS on APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills to be filed.**+

84th day 
Mon. Mar. 27

Deadline for FINAL ADOPTION of CONFERENCE REPORTS on APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills**+, and for CONFERENCE REPORTS on GENERAL BILLS and CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS to be filed.**+

85th day 
Tues. Mar. 28

Deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider conference reports on APPROPRIATIONS and REVENUE bills.

86th day 
Wed. Mar. 29

Deadline for first consideration of conference reports on general bills and constitutional amendments.

87th day 
Thurs. Mar. 30

Deadline for filing conference reports on general bills and constitutional amendments that had been recommitted for further conference.+

88th day 
Fri. Mar. 31

Deadline for adoption of conference reports on general bills and constitutional amendments after recommittal.

89th day 
Sat. Apr. 1

Deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider conference reports on general bills and constitutional amendments.

90th day 
Sun. Apr. 2

SINE DIE

 

Every year legislators bring their ideas to the legislature in hopes of gaining support and moving their agenda a little closer to becoming law.  This year I have three bills that I hope will survive the process.

  • My first bill is one I introduced last year but it didn't make it through the committee process.  This bill would require all state funded universities fly the Mississippi State flag.  The bill does not threaten funding but simply required they fly the flag of the people who provide their funding.  Current Mississippi law requires all K-12 schools fly our state flag, I believe publicly funded universities should also fly the state flag.

 

  • My second bill would provide that any person or entity that prevents carrying a firearm on their property assumes the liability of protecting their invited guest.  In other words, if you are harmed somewhere that has posted a no gun sign the owner assumes the liability and responsibility of protecting you and your family.

 

  • My third this year removes "stun guns" from the concealed carry law.  Stun guns are not prohibited in Mississippi, they are not illegal to sell or carry but they ended up in the concealed carry law.  I believe that was a mistake and should be corrected to prevent any confusion.

 

I am also working closely with Rep. Larry Byrd in hopes of finding some solutions for the children in our state who are dealing with dyslexia.  Twenty percent of school aged children are dyslexic.  These children are smart and often excel at connecting ideas, thinking out of the box, 3D thinking, and seeing the big picture.  Many of these children are gifted in areas of art, computer science, design, drama, electronics, math, mechanics, music, physics, sales and sports, but without help in their early years are too often left behind.  We must equip our teachers to identify these children and provide parents with the tools they need to help their children succeed. 

Here are a couple of other bills that I think are important to watch;

The first was introduced by Rep. Dan Eubanks of Desoto County.  House Bill 17 is the "Mississippi On-Farm Sales and Food Freedom Act"; an act to provide greater autonomy to private agricultural producers.  This bill would allow farmers to sell their products directly to customers.

Another bill that I believe should be seriously considered will be introduced by Rep. Hank Zuber of Ocean Springs.  This bill would change our Constitution and require the legislature only meet every other year.  It would save the State money and further protect the freedoms of Mississippians by limiting the time politicians have to raise taxes and pass laws.

I am thankful for the opportunity to take part in making Mississippi Great!

Dana

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