In the seventh week of the Legislative Session, Senators met the Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, deadline to dispose of motions to reconsider general bills and constitutional amendments originating in the Senate.
The first action was taken on several appropriation bills, and an overview of the recommended $6.989 billion total state support fund budget was discussed. The Senate’s initial position on most agency budget bills was the Legislative Budget Recommendation adopted by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee in their December meeting.
Among bills passed was Senate Bill 3000, which re-appropriated $53.478 million for a large variety of purposes on state university campuses which was authorized last legislative session, including:
- * $2.478 million to Delta State University – Commercial Aviation Department to defray expenses related to the purchase of flight simulators, training equipment, and other capital improvements.
- * $1 million to University of Mississippi toward operations of the Haley Barbour Center for the Study of American Politics.
- * $15 million to the University of Mississippi to defray expenses related to the Healthcare Innovation Tech Hub Infrastructure, Biomedical Innovation, Nano-Bio Immuno Engineering Consortium (NIEC), Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.
- * $10 million to the University of Mississippi to defray expenses related to the UM Early Learning and Evaluation Center.
- * $12 million to Mississippi State University to defray the expenses related to the construction, furnishing, and equipping of the Kinesiology & Autism Building, High-Performance Computing Center and/or Ballew Hall.
- * $2.5 million to Mississippi University for Women to defray expenses related to the expansion of the nursing program.
- * $3 million to Alcorn State University to defray the expenses related to the renovation and expansion of the Davey L. Whitney Complex and Wellness Center and $1.5 million for STEM related programs.
- * $5 million to Jackson State University to defray the expenses related to the repair, renovation, and/or construction of a residence hall.
Passage of Senate Bill 3012 appropriates $248.45 million to the Department of Public Safety, which in addition to funding the Highway Patrol, sets out full funding for 160 positions with the Capitol Police Department.
Senate Bill 3016 appropriates $32.5 million to the Emergency Management Agency.
Senate Bill 3018 appropriates $8.6 million to the Veterans Affairs Board and $49.7 million to the Mississippi State Veterans Homes.
Senate Bill 3022 appropriates $68.57 million to the Department of Revenue, $92 million to fully fund Homestead Exemptions and $4.2 million for the License Tag Commission.
Senate Bill 3025 appropriates $644.8 million to the Department of Mental Health.
Senate Bill 3032 appropriates $3.88 million to the Pharmacy Board.
Senate Bill 3036 appropriates $10.4 million to the Gaming Commission.
In other action:
- Senator Juan Barnett led presentation of Senate Resolution 43 (2021 Regular Session) on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, honoring Jasper County resident, Marine Corps Corporal Vonzia J. Rigsby, a 102-year-old, black Marine, who served during World War II as a Montford Point Marine.
- Senator Juan Barnett led honors for the Bay Springs High School “Bulldogs” Football Team and Head Coach Dan Brady on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, by the Mississippi Senate with Senate Concurrent Resolution 521 for winning their second consecutive MHSAA Class 1A State Football Championship with a 22-0 win over the McEvans High School “Hawks,” on December 2, 2022, at M.M. Roberts Stadium.