The Clarion-Ledger summarized the 2015 session as follows:
For all the talk of broad tax cuts, or “a taxpayer raise,” the only break rank-and-file Mississippians will see from the 2015 legislative session is $5, from the elimination of vehicle inspection stickers.
The state’s GOP leadership, holding both a House and Senate majority, passed competing tax cut plans, and each chamber initially killed the other’s. They reached a compromise only late in the session, but then Democrats prevented the super-majority vote needed for passage.
This election-year session, which wrapped up Thursday, at times appeared more about politics or minutiae than major policy. Lawmakers argued over joining a drive to compel Congress to balance its budget (they did), banning trade with Iran (they didn’t, after realizing Toyota might have Iranian investments), exempting children from vaccinations for their parents’ philosophical beliefs (they’re not), feeding deer meat to prison inmates (they’re not) and whether to allow homeschooled children to play public school sports (they didn’t).
At one point in the session, lawmakers couldn’t get a bipartisan two-thirds vote to delay business for a day for an ice storm.
“As always, you get some things you want and some things you don’t,” Gov. Phil Bryant said of a legislative session where he saw several of his initiatives shot down.
In his own statement, Gov. Bryant praised the legislature for passing the following legislation to him:
- Education vouchers for special needs students (SB 2695)
- Strengthening 2nd Amendment protections (SB 2394, SB 2619)
- Improving state contracting procedures (HB 825, SB 2400)
- Investing in Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula and Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson
- Increasing state trooper pay (SB 2500)
- Medical licenses for retired military practicing on voluntary basis (HB 215)
- Increasing public hospital transparency (SB 2407)
- Waiving out-of-state tuition for military veterans (SB 2127)
- Standing with Israel by restricting state financial involvement with entities conducting energy-related business with Iran (HB 1127)
See the Governor’s full statement below.