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Over the last few weeks, the House has begun taking up appropriation (spending) bills. These are all based largely on recommendations from the Legislative Budget Committee and its analysts. Final budget numbers will not be made until late March, when we will have a clearer picture of the state’s economic outlook for the coming fiscal year. State economist Darrin Webb tells us that revenues are falling flat and a tough budget year is forthcoming.

 
In addition to these financial bills, we have also begun in House committees the process of going through Senate bills. A few of importance that passed House committees:
Senate Bill 2680 was passed by House Judiciary B Committee. Current law—by accident, it seems—requires anyone (even family members) who wants to foster a child to undergo foster care training. This bill would say that, when the person requesting to foster the child is a relative of the child—often a grandparent, aunt, or uncle—and social workers agree that the adult is suitable, that the relative does not have to undergo foster care training. This seems to have universal support.

 
Senate Bill 2645 passed the House Appropriations Committee.  This would place a one-year moratorium (with a few exceptions) on the state or its agencies purchasing automobiles. This is a common practice when the state is in financial straits.
Senate Bill 2710 also passed of the Judiciary B Committee. This would prohibit Mississippi cities from becoming “sanctuary cities,” whereby the local government refuses to enforce—or seeks to prevent from being enforced—federal immigration laws. To my knowledge, no Mississippi government has ever attempted this.

 
These Senate bills and many others will now come for a vote before the full, 122-member House, and must pass there to survive.
I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to serve. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at nsanford@house.ms.gov or at 601-765-4122.
Rep. Noah Sanford represents parts of Covington, Simpson, and Jefferson Davis Counties in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

 

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