By District 35 Rep. Joey Hood
Monday, January 19, marked the deadline for the “introduction of general bills and constitutional amendments.” Once bills have been introduced, they are referred to committees. For the next two weeks House members will focus their attention on meeting the February 4 deadline to report bills out of committee. If a bill does not make it out of a committee, it will not make it to the House calendar.
House Bill 1026 (HB 1026) will eliminate the requirement that individuals purchase an inspection sticker for the their automobile. I authored HB 1026 and will keep everyone posted on the status of this bill and whether inspection stickers are eliminated during this legislative session.
House Bill 395 (HB 395) gives curriculum control to local school districts. Enactment of this measure would require the Mississippi Department of Education to continue to hand down the Mississippi Curriculum Frameworks to local districts. The local districts would then have the control over the development of curriculum. It passed by a vote of 92-25. I voted for the bill.
House Bill 156 (HB 156) removes Mississippi from the federal government regarding education standards. Adoption of this measure would give the state ownership of the standards and control to change or amend them as deemed necessary. HB 156 passed by a vote of 95-21. I voted for the bill.
Judiciary B committee members met regarding a bill requiring DNA testing for violent crime arrests. During this meeting, Dr. Hannah Gay, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) physician credited with the functional curing of an HIV-infected child, spoke and answered questions at length on the subject. I serve on the Judiciary B committee and voted to pass the bill out of committee.
House Bill 346 (HB 346) allows exclusions and limitations on liability insurance required under the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Safety-Responsibility Law. This bill provides an opt-out choice for policy holders to remove someone from their policy, should they choose, or keep everyone in their household on the policy. This bill removes the threat of risk being assumed by the entire household. For example, if an individual in a household has a marginal driving record, this person could be excluded from the policy, which should result in a cheaper premium for the policy holder. Under current law, policies cover every licensed driver living in the household. The bill passed by a vote of 70-50. I voted for the bill.
State of the State Address
This week, Governor Phil Bryant delivered his fourth State of the State address during a joint session of the Legislature in the House Chamber. Governor Bryant outlined his priorities for the 2015 Legislative Session. Some of the highlights from the State of the State speech include Governor Bryant’s support for an income tax cut for working Mississippians, state contract reforms, a $50 million investment in workforce training, and an increased focus on tourism. He praised the Legislature for their continued success in crafting a responsible budget that uses recurring money for recurring expenses.
Philadelphia native and Country Music Legend Marty Stuart visited with lawmakers at the MS State Capitol this week. Stuart was in town to promote the future Marty Stuart Center and Congress of Country Music Hall in Philadelphia, which, as he phrased it, will be the “Smithsonian of Country Music Memorabilia.”
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