Geoff Pender, The Clarion-Ledger, 03 Feb 2015
With Tuesday night’s deadline, both Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves were declaring success, with most of their legislative agenda’s surviving the deadline for passage from committee.
A spokeswoman for Bryant said his legislative agenda is “full steam ahead,” and provided this list:
Alive and subject to today’s deadline:
Mississippi Works Fund, $50 million for workforce training (SB2457, HB 911)
MS Works Scholarship, $3 million for career tech students (SB2452, HB950)
Common Core Reform (SB2161)
Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act (SB2695, HB394)
Government Reform: change composition of Contract Review Board (SB2553, HB825)
Government Reform: move Inmate Canteen Fund to Treasurer’s Office (SB2521, HB400)
Government Reform: move Ag leasing to Secretary of State (SB2562, HB403)
Government Reform: require DFA sign off on emergency contracts (SB2400, HB1137)
Measures to require casinos to seize gaming earnings of parents who owe back child support and to fund state trooper training did not pass committee. As long as the code sections are open, these efforts are not “dead, dead, dead”
Reeve’s office released:
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves’ agenda proposals, which include bringing transparency to state purchases and eliminating the vehicle inspection sticker, cleared Senate committees by today’s deadline. The Senate will consider bills over the next week
Lt. Gov. Reeves said he appreciated the support of senators on initiatives aimed at eliminating wasteful spending and making government more efficient.
“We’ve taken a strong first step in making real reforms happen in several areas of government that have been neglected for too long,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “We need bold reforms to make a difference for taxpayers.”
His agenda included Senate Bill 2553, by Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, to tighten state contracting laws and increase scrutiny on government purchases. The bill remakes the Personal Service Contract Review Board, requires a biannual review of procurement practices by the legislative watchdog committee, and ensures pricing details and terms of contracts are public records.
Other bills on Lt. Gov. Reeves’ agenda include:
·Senate Bill 2519, by Sen. John Polk, R-Hattiesburg, eliminating the vehicle inspection sticker.
·Senate Bill 2407, by Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, placing public hospital boards under the Open Meetings Act
·Senate Bill 2481, by Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, improving care for the mentally ill.
·Senate Bill 2161, by Sen. Videt Carmichael, R-Meridian, ensuring high academic standards for Mississippi students.
·Senate Bill 2695, by Sen. Collins, providing school choice for special needs children
·Senate Bill 2394, by Sen. Terry Burton, R-Newton, reducing concealed carry permit fees.
·Senate Bill 2619, by Sen. Haskins Montgomery, D-Bay Springs, recognizing military training for firearm permits.