By District 35 Rep. Joey Hood
House members were faced with a full week of committee work in anticipation of the approaching February 4 deadline for reporting general bills originating in the House out of committee.
The House Judiciary A Committee passed several bills focused on Second Amendment rights. House Bill 705 ensures that in times of distress, a person’s gun(s) may not be confiscated from them if they are in lawful possession. House Bill 764 allows disabled veterans to receive discounts on conceal carry permits. Enactment of this measure would grant them exemption from the cost of a conceal carry permit and its renewal cost. This also applies to current law enforcement.
The House Insurance Committee passed several measures this week. House Bill 1433 proposes to extend an increase in death benefits to emergency management agency personnel. Enactment of this measure would increase not only law enforcement and fire fighter death/disability benefits from $65,000 to $100,000, but also include personnel of emergency management agencies. “The Clarity Act” or House Bill 753 requires admitted homeowners insurance carriers in Mississippi to provide data to the public on premiums collected, the amount of losses incurred and the total number of policies in affect. The information will be reported by zip code. The bill is intended to ensure that fair application rates are being charged to homeowners.
The House Judiciary B and Corrections Committees passed House Bill 585, which is the omnibus bill that presents provisions compiled by the bipartisan, inter-branch Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force established during the 2013 Legislative Session. The goal of the 21-member Task Force was to develop policies to improve public safety, reduce repeat offenders, restore certainty to the sentencing process, and control corrections costs. This measure proposes some of the following reforms: (1) institute true minimums for time served; (2) eliminate the ability of The Department of Corrections to release offenders early to House Arrest; (3) clarify what constitutes a violent crime; (4) enhance and standardize victim notification regarding an offender’s release; and (5) changes to drug sentencing laws and property crimes.
The House Corrections Committee passed several bills out of committee this week. House Bill 63 prohibits persons convicted of two violent crimes from obtaining earned time allowances/trustee time. The committee members also passed House Bill 926 that restricts the Mississippi Department of Corrections’ usage of full-body imaging scanners.
I would like to thank the people of District 35 for allowing me the opportunity to serve. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. You can contact me at the Capitol at P. O. Box 1018, Jackson, Mississippi 39215 or call (601) 359-3339. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at www.joeyhoodmississippi.com.