Vehicle inspection stickers about to go away

The House voted 112-7 in favor of eliminating the vehicle inspection sticker. Those favoring some type of inspection say that, since there is no support for a more thorough and expensive inspection process, it makes sense to eliminate the sticker. Gov. Phil Bryant must sign the repeal to become law.

The Sun Herald asks, “Will Phil Bryant sign bill to eliminate inspection stickers?

State Sen. Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula says, “Yes:”

The bill repeals the annual inspection (MS Code § 63-13-1 through 63-13-29) but leaves in place MS Code § 63-7-59 which prohibits mirror tinting and requires light transmittance of 28% or more on the windshield and front two side windows.

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Clarion-Ledger | Bill to ban texting while driving dies as session ends

House Bill 484, a ban on texting while driving, died on the Miss. House floor last night after Speaker Philip Gunn adjourned the 2014 session.

Rep. Bill Denny (R-64) made a move to reconsider the bill late last night which apparently prevented the bill from being voted upon before the session ended.  Rep. Tom Miles (D-75) blamed Denny for single-handedly killing the bill at the last hour.

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Legislature celebrates the criminal-justice reform law

Credit for the Criminal Justice Reform Law (HB 585) is being given to Rep. Brice Wiggins (R-Pascagoula), Speaker Philip Gunn (R-56), Rep. Greg Snowden (R-83), Rep. Andy Gipson (R-77), and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.

HB 585 is 194 pages long and passage reflects a tremendous amount of effort from the state legislature in updating laws in many areas to include sentencing, parole, recidivism, drug and alcohol related crime, violent crime, corrections resources, and training requirements.

Twitter was a-buzz with all the back-slapping after the Gov. Phil Bryant’s signing ceremony:

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Miss. Legislature sends HB 314 to Governor

NRA Institute for Legislative Action reports that House Bill 314 has passed the legislature and will go to Gov. Phil Bryant for signature.  HB 314 provides 2nd Amendment protections as described by the NRA below:

H.B. 314 expands protections against government confiscation of legally-possessed firearms during a state of emergency or natural disaster. It would also protect law-abiding gun owners from restrictive gun control laws at the local level by giving them a legal remedy to challenge those that are enacted outside the scope of what state law allows. This bill would also protect the rights of law-abiding citizens who live in public housing to possess firearms and put a stop to local governments destroying firearms rounded up in taxpayer-funded gun buyback programs.

Executive Director for NRA-ILA Chris W. Cox credited Rep. Andy Gipson (R-77) and Senators Briggs Hopson (R-23) and Sean Tindell (R-49) for getting the bill through their respective legislative bodies and also noted the leadership of House Speaker Philip Gunn (R-56) and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.

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Miss. Legislature approves “Right on Crime” Reform Bill

From Gov. Phil Bryant:

We pledged to Mississippians that we would make this the ‘public safety session’, and we have worked hard to develop a research-based plan that is tough on crime while using tax dollars wisely where they make the most impact,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “This bill ensures that violent criminals are held accountable for their crimes, and it provides a second chance to veterans and other Mississippians who have made mistakes want to take steps to get their lives back on track.

Gov. Bryant specifically thanked state Sen. Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula for his support in getting the bill passed.

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Ban on “TWD” coming to Miss.?

Is a ban on texting while driving coming to Mississippi?  State Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney supports such a measure in the Claims Journal’s Mississippi Drivers Support Texting While Driving Ban: Allstate Survey.

According to an All State Insurance poll, 93% of Mississippi drivers support a complete ban on texting while driving.

MS House approves “strike teams”

Mississippi House voted 69-48 to approve House Bill 749, the “Statewide Law Enforcement Strike Team Act,” to create three statewide law enforcement strike teams.  An initiative of Gov. Phil Bryant, the strike teams will be under the authority of the state Attorney General (currently Jim Hood) and will be composed of 12-15 municipal, county, and/or state law enforcement members on loan from their local jurisdictions and chosen by the AG.  The strike teams will be geographically distributed throughout the northern, central, and southern areas of the state in each of the 3 Supreme Court districts (to become known as “strike zones”).

Republicans and Democrats are concerned about the possible abuse of police power and government overreach.  Some argue that strike teams are necessary to support local law enforcement efforts in high crime areas.  Proponents say that about $1.5 million will be spent on overtime and equipment.

The bill was authored by Rep. Mark Baker (R-74).   Of the South Mississippi Representatives (see listing), only Sonya Williams-Barnes (D-119)David Baria (D-122), and Randall H. Patterson (D-115) voted against the bill which moves to the Senate where a similar bill was unable to get out of committee.

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State legislature to evaluate multiple gun-related bills in 2014

2014 will be an active year for gun control in the Mississippi Legislature.

Last year, Mississippi House Bill 2 became law and clarified the definition of “concealed” weapons and affirmed the right to carry weapons openly in the state of Mississippi (to include in holsters or other carrying devices that can be plainly seen).  Since that time, local governments have been racing to ban firearms from city and county property effectively nullifying the state law while compromising the authority of concealed carry permit holders.

Rep. Andy Gipson (R-77) introduced House Bill 314 this year to clarify the limits and authority of local governments to restrict open or concealed carry.

Rep. Omeria Scott (D-80) introduced House Bill 231 to establish an ammunition registration and serialization system in the state.

Rep. Deborah Dixon (D-63) introduced House Bill 179 to repeal portions of the state “Castle Doctrine” law.  The bill would “remove the immunity of justifiable homicide provided to persons who commit the killing of an aggressor when that killing occurs outside of the dwelling.”  Also Anyone claiming protection under the Castle Doctrine would be required to submit to drug testing.

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