Security, statues and veterans addressed in legislation

Published 4:54 pm Monday, January 9, 2023

JACKSON — Lawmakers met for another day of legislating Monday. The House of Representatives introduced 32 new bills and the senate introduced 64 bills. 

Security is a concern being addressed by House Bill 279. It would prohibit the use of TikTok on state issued devices and require the application to be deleted if it is on any state issued devices. The bill was referred to the judiciary committee. 

School boards could establish specialized security and threat mitigation teams under House Bill 301. A school board would have to submit their security policy to the board of education of approval. Under the bill, teachers would be allowed to carry a concealed firearm to counteract unforeseen attempts of violence. 

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Employees serving on a threat mitigation team would have their identity be made known to the superintendent, principal or assistant principal and the head of a local law enforcement. The bill would prescribe stipulations for school employees to have a concealed firearm and allows school districts to compensate teachers serving in such capacity with $200. It was referred to the Education committee. 

Monumental occasion

Senate Bill 2005 would create a National Statuary Hall Selection Committee to recommend two new statues at the US Capitol. Statues of Jefferson Davis and JZ George currently represent Mississippi on capitol hill. 

The bill states “recommendations shall be figures who bring honor to all Mississippians and reflect the demographics of the state as a whole.” The bill was referred to the Rules committee. 

Wildlife legislation

Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks legislation is off to a three bill start in the 2023 Mississippi Legislative Session. One of the bills would exempt veterans and active duty members from State Park entry fees and offer campsite rental discounts.  

House Bill 32 would require an exemption from fees and at least a 50 percent discount on campsite rentals for Veteran and Active Duty visitors to state parks. Veterans and active duty members shall present to the official written evidence of the individual’s active duty service or veteran’s service. Such evidence shall include a valid military identification card, a copy of the applicant’s DD-214 form, a Report of Separation from Military Service, a military discharge document, or a written certification of military service from the Mississippi Veterans Affairs.

This bill would require a three/fifths majority vote to pass. 

House Bill 122 would also require a three/fifths vote for the Mississippi All-Terrain/Off-Road Vehicle Numbering act. It would create and establish a certificate of number system for operating off-road vehicles on public land. 

House Bill 49 would allow a child of an active duty serviceman to obtain a resident lifetime hunting and fishing license if the child was born in the state and the parent was on active military service at the time of applicant’s birth.

House Bill 289 would include training facilities in the list of designated purposes from funds raised through Hunting and Fishing license sales. About 90 percent of the MDWFP budget is funded through license sales.