2 health bills advance Thursday in Legislature

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, January 27, 2022

Two health-related bills advanced in the Mississippi Legislature Thursday.

House Bill 764 was introduced to create the Mississippi Health Care Workers Retention Act of 2022 on Jan. 17 by four Republican representatives — Philip Gunn, Kevin Felsher, Lester Carpenter and Jill Ford.

The bill was referred to the Appropriations Committee and the committee-amended bill returned to the full House Thursday.

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The bill would appropriate funds from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund to the State Department of Health. The funds would then be used for Mississippi licensed hospitals and long-term care facilities to provide “premium pay” to certified healthcare workers “who are primarily devoted to mitigating or responding to the current COVID-19 public health emergency.”

House Bill 43 passed the House Thursday. HB 43 is an act to amend the Mississippi Code of 1972 to delete the cap on the number of National Board Certified nurses and speech-language pathologists and audiologists employed by school districts allowed to receive the NBC salary supplement. The act would also require payment of an annual salary supplement to state-licensed athletic trainers employed by these districts.

The bill was introduced by Republican representatives John Read and Kevin Felsher on Jan. 4, and passed as amended after its return to the House from the chamber’s Appropriations Committee.


Other bills that saw some activity Thursday included:

  • Senate Bill 2603, an act to create a right to follow-up testing for a law enforcement officer who tests positive for illegal drug use, and to provide for terms of suspension pending the results of the follow-up test. The bill moved from the Labor Committee to the Judiciary Division A Committee.
  • HB 1010 would amend the 1972 Code to provide definitions for felony firearm violations, and exclude certain weapons from the list of those prohibited to be in the possession of those convicted of a felony. A version of the bill amended by the Judiciary Division B Committee passed the House.
  • HB 1418, “The Second Amendment Preservation Act,” passed as amended by the Judiciary Division B Committee. Co-sponsored by Rep. Vince Mangold of Brookhaven, the act would prevent the federal government or any county or municipal government from banning, confiscating or interfering with the ownership and use of legally-owned firearms.