By District 35 Rep. Joey Hood
House members passed a variety of bills this week in advance of deadlines coming up in the last few weeks of the 2014 Legislative Session. Most of the bills were before the House for concurrence or non-concurrence. If the House voted to concur with Senate amendments, the bill was sent directly to Governor Bryant to sign into law. However if the decision was not to concur but to invite conference, the bill is sent to a conference committee of three members each from the House and Senate.
For those bills going to conference, the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor each assign conferees from their respective Chambers who will work together to reach an agreement on the language of the bills. Once the conference committee members agree on the language, the bills are taken back to each chamber and voted to either pass or recommit the report for further conference.
Some of the bills to which the House concurred with Senate changes include:
Homestead Increase for Disabled Veterans
House Bill 1165 increases homestead exemption benefits for disabled veterans. I voted to concur.
Second Amendment Right
House Bill 314 expands protections against government confiscation of legally-possessed firearms during a state of emergency or natural disaster. I voted to concur.
A few of the bills House members sent to conference this week include:
Electronic Medical Card
House Bill 641 requires the Department of Public Safety to provide electronic transmission of the medical card required for commercial driver’s licenses. I voted to invite conference.
Statewide Strike Team Act
House Bill 749, Governor Bryant’s Statewide Strike Team Act, creates three strike teams across the state comprised of local law enforcement officers. The strike teams would assist local municipalities and counties throughout the state should local law enforcement request it. I voted to invite conference.
House members addressed and passed 53 Appropriations bills sent over from the Senate to meet the 8 p.m. deadline Tuesday. Members voted to insert the House language (“strike-all”) into several of the Appropriations bills. For instance, the Department of Public Safety Appropriations bill was changed to incorporate the House language which provides funding for a new Trooper School. Close to $7 million is appropriated for this effort.
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.