Legislative Session Halfway Over
Today marks the halfway point for the 2018 legislative session. The House of Representatives began working to craft the state’s budget this week.
Each state agency has its own bill which is considered by the Appropriations Committee. These spending bills can generally be divided into two types:
- Special Funds: These bills pull money from special accounts that are set aside for particular state agencies. Most of the larger agencies are not funded this way. Many of the “special fund” agencies include occupational licensing boards and commissions which impose regulations on certain professions.
- General Funds: These bills spend money from the state’s “general fund,” where most of your tax dollars are deposited. Most of the state’s larger agencies, including the three primary branches of government, are funded this way.
This week, the House began the budget process by considering six special fund spending bills and passing 27 general fund spending bills. However, these are effectively “placeholder” bills for the moment. They can’t become law as currently written.
The House will continue working with the Senate to negotiate the final spending numbers for each of these bills based on updated tax collections at the end of the session.
One highlight from this week was the passage of the Education budget, which was amended on the floor to eliminate state tests as a requirement for graduation. The amendment passed the House and the bill now heads to the Senate. You can click here to read the full amendment.
The House also passed a bill this week, HB 1566, which creates a tax credit for adoption expenses. This will help encourage adoption and reduce the tax burden on Mississippi families.
The House adjourned for the week today in an effort to reduce legislative expenses by not meeting on Friday. Next week, House committees will meet to consider bills from the Senate. You can click here to see all bills that are still alive so far.
You can see a live stream of the House debate each day on my Facebook page here. These videos are saved there so you can also go back and watch the debate later if you’re not able to watch live.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions, requests, or concerns about upcoming legislation! You can reach me by email at Joel@JoelBomgar.com or on my cell at (601) 207-0813.
It’s an honor to serve you!
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