House passes variety of bills

By Rep. Joey Hood
District 35

House members passed a variety of bills last week in advance of
upcoming deadlines during the last few weeks of the 2013 legislative
session.

Most of the bills came before the House for a concurrence vote, non-
concurrence vote or to invite conference. If the House voted to
concur with the Senate’s amended version of a bill, then it was sent
directly to the governor to be signed into law.

For the bills going to conference, the speaker of the House and the
lieutenant governor each assign three members from their respective
chambers to the conference committee. The members work together to
reach an agreement on the language of the bills. Once an agreement is
reached, the bills are sent back to each chamber for a vote to either
pass or recommit the report for further conference.

The House voted to send the majority of general bills to conference
last week in addition to 53 appropriation bills. The House voted to
send House Bill 369, known as the Mississippi Charter Schools Act, to
conference. The main difference between the House and Senate version
of the bill is the Senate version removes a local school board’s
authority to deny establishment of a charter school in a C-rated
district beginning in 2016. House Bill 955, which establishes the
Reading Proficiency Program in public schools to achieve grade level
reading by the end of third grade, was also sent to conference

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee, led by Speaker Philip Gunn,
met to adopt revisions to the Fiscal Year (2013 and 2014 General Fund
revenue estimates. Committee members voted against the effort to
adopt the revisions to FY2013, which was $60.1 million more than the
November revised estimate. Committee members then voted to adopt the
changes to FY2014 for a total of $5.08 billion, which is $97.6
million more than the November estimate.

I would like to thank the people of District 35 for allowing me the
opportunity to serve. If you have any questions or need any
assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. You can
contact me at the Capitol at P.O. Box 1018, Jackson, MS 39215 or call
601-359-3339. You may also email me at jhood@house.ms.gov or visit my
website at www.joeyhoodmississippi.com.