Mississippi’s legislative session adjourned sine die on March 28, three days before its official deadline of April 1. Governor Phil Bryant (R) finished acting on the bills sent to his desk on April 13. Although the legislature passed a variety of noteworthy bills, it failed to pass legislation addressing several critical issues. Among the bills that failed to make it out of the state house were a major rewrite of Mississippi’s education funding law and a large funding package for both state infrastructure and transportation projects.
- Lawmakers passed a $6.1 billion dollar budget package that takes effect July 1.
- Mississippi lawmakers passed a Medicaid technical bill that removes prohibitions on the
amountof doctor visits and prescription-count limits, as well as increases coverage for patients needing prenatal care.
- The legislature passed criminal justice reform legislation (HB 387) that ensures Mississippi residents do not automatically go to jail for failing to pay state fines. Under the new legislation, residents will be able to argue their case in front of a judge.
- Lawmakers passed a 15-week abortion ban, though a federal judge quickly blocked implementation of the law as unconstitutional.
Unlike most states, Mississippi holds elections for governor and other state-level offices in odd-numbered years. Therefore, the next gubernatorial election is scheduled for November 5, 2019. Every state legislative seat will also be up for election in 2019.