Weekly Legislative Update – Joel Bomgar – Week of February 1st

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It’s hard to believe we’re into the second month of the legislative session! This week marked one of the first important deadlines for the House: the deadline to have new legislation drafted. With committees in place and bills drafted, we will begin meeting to consider what is being introduced.

The Education Committee held its first organizational meeting, where the Chairman assigned subcommittees. This is a large committee and appointing subcommittees allows us to be more efficient and thorough working through potential legislation. I was honored to be named the Chair of Subcommittee G.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to help pass meaningful education policy. Public Property and Youth and Family Affairs, two of my other committees, also held organizational meetings this week. You can view a full list of House committees and members here.

Over the next two weeks, members will introduce bills and take them up in committee to determine whether they should move forward. Monday February 8th is the deadline to introduce general bills, and February 23rd is the deadline to report bills out of committee. This will be a busy time, and I hope to provide regular updates on the progress of important bills as they move through the legislative process.

On Thursday, the Legislature convened for a Special Session called by the Governor. The House voted on HB1, a bill that authorizes the state to borrow $263 million to distribute to several corporations that are considering locating in Mississippi. I wholeheartedly support efforts to bring jobs to Mississippi, but I was not comfortable with the bill that borrows new money to provide incentives to a selected few companies. That is why I voted no on HB1. The measure passed the House 118-3.

I received lots of positive feedback from constituents this week, and wanted to share this one: “As a constituent, thanks for voting against the bill. Why we want to give a couple hundred million dollars to a company whose net income was in excess of $2B each of the last two years, is foreign to me. I understand both sides of the Econ development argument, but I don’t think tax incentives are why companies pick one location over another. And tax incentives demoralize existing industry. Continental revs last year were over $34B. $200M in incentives isn’t driving long term decisions like plant location.”

We also voted on a number of resolutions commending Mississippians this week, including a resolution mourning the loss of fallen Hattiesburg Police Patrolman Benjamin J. Deen. You can view more details on each of these resolutions, along with every vote I made this week, on our website.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about particular measures, please do not hesitate to contact me. It is my honor to represent you, and I am grateful for your support!