- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Tuesday was the first major deadline of the 2015 Mississippi legislative session. It was the final day for House and Senate committees to consider bills filed in their own chamber. Hundreds of bills died. Those that survived are moving on for debate in the full House and Senate. There are later deadlines for budget and borrowing bills. Here’s a glance at the status of some bills:



CONTRACT REFORM: House Bill 825, Senate Bills 2400 and 2553 would change how state contracts are reviewed and reduce exemptions from competitive procurement, in a reaction to contracting scandals at the Department of Corrections.

SPECIAL EDUCATION VOUCHERS: Senate Bill 2695 would give $7,000 in state money to the parent of any Mississippi special education student who wanted to withdraw their child from their local public school district. House Bill 394 also would create a voucher program for special education students.

TEXTING & DRIVING: House Bills 41 and 389 would ban texting while driving

INSPECTION STICKER: House Bill 982 and Senate Bill 2519 would eliminate the need for Mississippi drivers to obtain a $5 sticker every year.



CLOSED PARTY PRIMARIES: Senate Bill 2613 would have required Mississippi voters to register by party and only vote in their own party’s primary elections.

SCHOOL EMPLOYEE POLITICS: House Bill 449 would have barred school districts and school employees from engaging in certain kinds of political advocacy

SPECIAL EDUCATION-ATTORNEYS: House Bill 649 would have had the state spend $1.5 million to hire attorneys in the northern, central and southern parts of the state to help parents get special education services for their children.

ABORTION DELAY: Senate Bill 2138 would have increased the minimum waiting time from 24 hours to 72 hours before a woman could obtain an abortion.

CLOSED MEETINGS: House Bill 290 would have set a $25,000 fine for disclosing information discussed during the executive session of a public body such as a city council or board of supervisors.

BIBLE: House Bill 386 and Senate Bill 2179 proposed designating the Bible as the state book. Senate Bill 2140 would have directed the state Board of Education to approve the curriculum for a state-funded elective course on the academic study of the Bible.

EDUCATION LEADERS’ PAY: Senate Bill 2387 would have reduce the salary of the commissioner of higher education from $358,300 to $200,000 and the salary of the state superintendent of education from $300,000 to $175,000. Under current law, the higher education commissioner’s salary is set by the College Board and the superintendent of education’s salary is set by the state Board of Education.

POLICE VIDEO: House Bill 5 would have required all law enforcement agencies to record interrogations on video.

HUNTING & FISHING LICENSES: Senate Bill 2381 would have exempted hunting and fishing licenses from disclosure under the Public Records Act.

SET THE CLOCK: Senate Bill 2180 proposed keeping Mississippi on daylight saving time year-round.

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