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Week of April 29, 2024



Clay Mansell

By Representative Clay Mansell

 

This was the eighteenth and final week of the 2024 legislative session. Legislators worked through the weekend to finalize the state budget and other bills. Most of the budget was not completed by Monday’s deadline, so the legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution 64 extending the session by several days and suspending the deadlines for certain bills. HCR 64 also set the date for adjournment sine die as Tuesday, May 14, if needed.

 

Though the hours at the Capitol were long, legislators worked extremely hard. The Legislature adopted the almost $7.9 billion state budget, including more money than ever going to K-12 public education.

 

On Saturday, April 27, the House took up Senate Bill 3231, which rescinds the scheduled employer contribution increase to the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). This would have been a 5% increase over three years starting in July. Under SB 3231, the employer contribution will increase by one-half percent every year from 2024 to 2028. The bill also expresses the intention of the Legislature to create a new tier for future members of the system during the 2025 legislative session. SB 3231 passed by a vote of 107-1, and it has been sent to the governor for his signature.

 

As the week continued, it became clear that the House’s plan for expanding Medicaid to working Mississippians (House Bill 1725) would not be adopted.  Medicaid Chairwoman Missy McGee (R – Hattiesburg), Public Health Chairman Sam Creekmore, IV (R – New Albany) and Judiciary A Chairman Joey Hood (R – Ackerman) served on the conference committee, and despite their efforts, talks with the Senate deteriorated throughout the week. After filing and refiling conference reports, HB 1725 died in conference on Thursday.

 

The House adjourned pursuant to HCR 64 on Saturday, May 4. If the Legislature decides not to gavel in on May 14, this concluded the 2024 legislative session, the first in a four-year term.

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