Every week seems to hold another deadline, by Wednesday, House members needed to address all general, non-revenue bills received from the Senate. If a Senate bill was not taken up and passed by Wednesday, it died on the Calendar. The Senate faced the same deadline as they considered bills originating in the House.
When a bill is passed by one chamber, it goes to the other for consideration and vote. If the other chamber approves it exactly as they received it, then it goes to the Governor to be signed or vetoed. If, however, there is a single change (amendment) to the original bill, then it goes back to the original chamber to see if they approve (“concur”) with the changes. If they do not approve, it goes to “Conference.” The House appoints three members (generally from the original committee which considered the bill), and the Senate does the same. These 6 members then see if they can resolve the differences and arrive at a single version. If they can find a compromise, the bill goes back to each chamber for a simple up or down vote, with no ability to amend it. If they cannot agree, it dies.
Here are some of the bills voted on by the House;
SB 2161: expands school choice by allowing for students in lower-performing districts to cross district lines to attend charter schools. Every child deserves access to a quality education, and every parent deserves a choice in where their child attends school. I voted Yes, the bill passed 65-51.
There has been a lot of discussion about this bill and a lot of mis-information spread by those who oppose basic christian values. Here is some facts about what this bill does and what it does NOT do provided by the MS Center for Public Policy;
What HB 1523 does:
The Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act does:
What HB 1523 does NOT do;
The Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act does NOT:
The GAS TAX!
The discussion about our state's bridges and roads continued throughout the week. As a member of the House Transportation Committee I was involved in many of these discussions. There were many options discussed, including various ways to raise additional revenue. Everyone has heard the proposal of an increased gas tax, but there were many other options discussed. I am happy to say that Representatives from Desoto County were heavily involved in the discussions and participated by bringing several options to the table. We were also successful in expressing the concerns of citizens in Desoto County and their desires to make government more efficient instead of raising taxes.
We were successful in helping moving the discussion away from increased taxes to finding ways to make the Department of Transportation more efficient. Speaker Gunn and House Transportation Chairman Charles Busby are now considering the formation of a committee to study the issue before the 2017 legislative session. I believe this is the correct approach that will allow us to make better and more informed decisions next year.
Visiting Your Capitol
This week I was very happy to have Steve and Mora Wade visiting the capitol. Steve and Mora are active in the Convention of States and were at the capitol on Thursday informing legislators about this citizen lead movement.
The Convention of States is made up of citizens who are concerned for the future of our country because our federal government is becoming increasingly bloated, corrupt, reckless and invasive. As citizens we have a constitutional option. We can call a Convention of States to return the country to its original vision of a limited federal government that is of, by and for the people.
Learn more at www.conventionofstates.com