The 2019 #msleg ended on March 29, 2019. Here is a list of bills that survived and were signed by the Governor.
Criminal Justice Reform
HB 1352 - Criminal Justice Reform Act; create.
This comprehensive bill will help to reduce the state's mass incarceration crisis. Its benefits include: reorganizes drug courts to cover matters like mental health courts under the umbrella of "intervention" courts, expands advisory committee, data collection, clinical assessments, allows fee waiver, prevents driver's license suspensions for non-driving offenses, expands expungement of records, lifts automatic bans on occupational licenses, and sets up a "recidivism reduction" fund from savings in prison reduction for use in reentry programs.
HB 1352 is a good bill, but it does not include any sentencing reforms, and therefore will not reduce the state's prison population. It also includes a watered-down version of bail reform.
SB 2781 - Mississippi Fresh Start Act; create to require the revision of licensing restrictions based on criminal records.
This bill would remove any automatic bars to occupational licenses due to prior felony conviction.
SB 2141 - Terroristic threat; create offense of.
This bill would create a new crime of "terroristic threat" with an automatic 10-year sentence. Creating a new crime is unnecessary and creates a slippery slope likely to lead to costly litigation protecting a fundamental right to free speech. This bill is also unnecessary as laws already on the books address hurtful speech. Protecting crude and upsetting speech is an essential component of democracy.
SB 2328 - Forensic Mental Health Act of 2019; create.
This bill will align the law with the criminal rules of procedure, and provide constitutional protections for individuals charged with a felony and deemed incompetent to stand trial due to a mental health issue. It will help ensure that individuals suffering from a mental health illness are not sitting in jail while waiting to receive treatment.
HB 732, SB 2116 - Abortion; prohibit when heart beat is detected.
Abortion is health care that one in four American women will seek in her lifetime. This safe, standard medical procedure should be legal and accessible for all who need it. Patients must be able to make their own medical decisions privately with their doctors — not with politicians.
Status: HB 732 died on Senate floor. SB 2116 signed by governor.
This bill will automatically disenfranchise citizens who have already paid their debt to society and seek to engage in the our electoral process.
SB 2030 - Elections; impose residency requirements to run for certain offices.
HB 654 - County school board trustees; require runoff election if no candidate receives majority of votes cast.
Run-off elections provide an opportunity for voters to determine the candidate of their choice following general or special elections. School board elections should have the same process as other elections.
HB 1182 - Corporal punishment; prohibit use of in public schools to discipline a student with a disability.
Corporal punishment should be prohibited inside the school system. There are positive, non-violent approaches to school discipline that have been proven to lead to safe environments in which children can learn.