This Week in the Legislature – Week of February 8 – Joel Bomgar
This was a busy week at the Capitol. Monday February 8th was the deadline to file general bills in the House. Thousands of bills were filed in the House and Senate, and committees began meeting this week to consider these measures. Much of this week was filled with committee meetings, including committees on Education, Judiciary B, Public Property, Youth and Family Affairs, Drug Policy, Technology, Medicaid, Public Health, and Municipalities. The deadline for each of these committees to pass bills for consideration by the House is Tuesday, February 23rd. Each of these committees are working diligently to to advance policy that helps move our state forward.
This week I had the pleasure of welcoming one of my constituents, Lauren Compere, to the House of Representatives. Lauren was crowned Miss Wheelchair Mississippi in 2015. The Miss Wheelchair Mississippi Pageant is a unique event that, unlike many pageants, judges contestants on their communication skills and presentation. Lauren is an impressive and inspiring representative for the organization, and I was honored to welcome her to the House and help promote the pageant. The 2016 Miss Wheelchair Mississippi Pageant is Saturday, March 12 at 6:00 pm at Madison Central High School.
On Thursday, I was asked to present a bill on the floor of the House as a member of the Public Property committee. The bill, HB 25, is a relatively straightforward measure which revises a section of the Mississippi Code to update the state buildings that are under the control of the Department of Finance and Administration. This was my first time presenting a bill on the floor of the House, and the chamber has a longstanding tradition of subjecting new members to a barrage of questions following their first presentation. I was proud to present my first bill, answer questions, and become officially “initiated” into the House of Representatives.
We voted on a number of bills this week that were reported out of the committees on Insurance, Public Property, Ways and Means, and Appropriations. I’ve listed a few of the notable measures that we passed below.
- Clarified the Worker’s Compensation statute to ensure that members of Mississippi’s Responder Management System are conferred the same benefits as other state employees if they are activated. More info here.
- Granted the Commissioner of the Mississippi Comprehensive Insurance Risk Pool the authority to close enrollment, in anticipation of shutting down that program. More info here.
- Provided the Corrections Commissioner more latitude to reorganize that Department. More info here.
- You can view the full list of measures considered by the House, along with descriptions and vote totals, on my website.
The upcoming week promises to be another busy one as we work to consider bills in committee. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
It is an honor and a privilege to represent you.