End of Session Report

On Tuesday night, the Mississippi Legislature adjourned Sine Die, marking the end of the 2022 Legislative Session. Of the 3,365 bills that were introduced, only 413 successfully made their way through the legislative process. Here’s a look at some big-ticket legislation that passed and died this session:

Bills That Passed 
Tax Relief
HB 531 - The Mississippi Tax Freedom Act, the largest tax cut in Mississippi history, gives over $525 Million in tax relief to Mississippians, and creates a path to full elimination of the income tax.

Teacher Pay

HB 530 - The START Act - raised teacher pay by $246 Million, raising starting teacher pay above the state and national averages.

Redistricting Plan
The redistricting plan that passed shifts two House districts in north Mississippi with declining populations to growing areas, one to DeSoto County and the other to Harrison County. Additionally, one Senate district will be relocated from southwestern Mississippi to Rankin and Smith counties, which are closer to metro Jackson.

Equal Pay
HB 770 - aims to prohibit gender based wage discrimination and creates a state cause of action that employees can use to pursue claims against employers who violate the law. 

Medical Marijuana

SB 2095 - Made Mississippi the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana. The new law allows patients to buy 3.5 grams every 6 days, which equates to 3 ounces of marijuana per month. MDHS will begin accepting applications in June. 
Mississippi Medical Marijuana Law

Anti CRT

SB 2113 -  Seeks to ban elements of Critical Race Theory from being taught in any public schools, including charter schools and universities.

Anti Vaccine Mandate
HB 1509 - Prohibits any government agency in Mississippi from requiring COVID-19 immunizations for employment or other purposes, such as health care access.

ARPA Allocations
The Legislature appropriated $1.5 billion in ARPA funds for water, sewer, broadband infrastructure, and healthcare programs.

ABC Warehouse
SB 2844 - Allows the state to construct a new ABC facility to be operated by a third-party contractor. This update will allow ABC to meet the growing demands of the state on alcohol purchasing.

Bills That Died
Citizen Ballot Initiative
HC 39 - Would have provided for a citizen-led initiative process to be reinstated in Mississippi to propose, amend, or repeal laws in the state.

Postpartum Medicaid Coverage
SB 2023 - Would have authorized and directed the Division of Medicaid to provide up to 12 months of continuous coverage postpartum for any individual who qualifies for Medicaid as a pregnant woman to the extent allowable under federal law.

Divorce Law Reform
SB 2643 - Sought to add an "irrevocably broken" marriage as grounds for a divorce. Mississippi and South Dakota are the only two states that do not allow one spouse to seek court permission to end a marriage.

While the 2022 session has concluded, our advocacy on behalf of your organization continues. In the off season, we work to maintain our relationships with legislators and state officials, and have already begun strategizing for 2023. We appreciate the opportunity to advocate on your behalf this year, and we look forward to assisting your organization in achieving its future policy objectives in sessions to come. Thank you for choosing Ten One Strategies!

2022 Mississippi Legislative Tracking List

1/14/22 Update

This week the MS Legislature focused on three priorities of the leadership: eliminating the state income tax, raising the salaries of teachers in the state, and creating a medical marijuana program.

On Thursday, January 13th, the Mississippi House passed HB 531, also known as “The Mississippi Tax Freedom Act”. This bill reduces the tax burden on Mississippians by eliminating the income tax, cutting the grocery tax from 7% to 4% over six years, and cutting the cost of car tags by 50%. This tax cut corresponds with a sales tax increase of 1.5% (7% to 8.5%). HB 531 passed 97-12 and will be sent to the Senate.  

On Thursday, January 13th, the Mississippi House also passed HB 530, also known as “The START Act”. This bill provides for a teacher pay raise of $4,000-$6,000 for each teacher starting next year. This bill will make the average starting salary of MS teachers higher than the southeastern average. Teacher Assistants will also receive a raise of $2000. This bill passed 114-6 and will be sent to the Senate. 

On Thursday, January 13th, the Mississippi Senate passed SB 2095, also known as the “Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act”. This bill creates a medical cannabis program in MS consistent with the will of the voters as demonstrated by Initiative 65 in 2021. Under the Senate bill, a Mississippian that was prescribed a medical marijuana card would be eligible to buy 3.5 grams of cannabis seven times a week, but no more than 28 times a month. That amount is equivalent to 3.5 ounces a month. The bill would apply the state's 7% sales tax and a new 5% excise tax to cannabis. Meaning, if a person bought $100 of cannabis they would pay $12 in taxes. This bill passed 47-5, and will be sent to the House on Monday. 

While some bills have been assigned to committee, most are still waiting on assignment. The deadline for the introduction of general bills and constitutional amendments is Monday, January 17, so many committees are waiting until all bills are filed to hold meetings.  Floor action will pick up next week as bills are brought out of committee.  Bills must be passed out of committee before they are considered by each chamber of the legislature. Please refer to the attachment for a list of bills we are currently monitoring on behalf of your organization.


1/7/22 Update

Tuesday, January 4th saw the commencement of the 2022 legislative session. Medical marijuana, elimination of the state income tax, and the allocation of the state's 1.8 billion in ARPA funding will be the major issues of the session. As of this morning, approximately 625 bills have been reported in the House and Senate and assigned to a committee. Each year over 3,000 bills are introduced prior to the committee deadline. Our team reads every bill and assigns it to our tracking software if it is of interest to the hospice industry. Weekly legislative reports will be added each Friday recapping the events of the week which will contain a tracking report showing the current status of all legislation that is being monitored.  We anticipate House and Senate committees will begin meeting as soon as Tuesday of next week to take up legislation. 

Happy New Year to you! We look forward to a productive 2022 legislative session.