The Mississippi State Legislature convened at the beginning of January. The session lasts 90 days and ends (or adjourns) on April 3rd (also known as sine die).
We’ll be watching (virtually) throughout the session, and you can do so as well. Both the House webcast and the Senate webcast are streamed live on the Mississippi Legislature Youtube channel. Some of the Senate committee meetings are also streamed on the channel live. All of the meetings and sessions are recorded and available if you want to watch them when it’s convenient for you (they are archived on the Youtube channel).
If you would like to follow the session more closely, go to the Mississippi Legislature website, which has excellent information on legislators, legislation, House and Senate committees, calendars and schedules. You can find information about any legislator, follow a specific bill’s progress during the session or download the bill’s text.
Monday, January 17th, was the last day for new bills to be introduced. These are bills related to mental health, disabilities and children listed on the Mississippi State Legislature’s website as on January 18th.
When a legislator introduces a bill, it is given a number and assigned to a committee in the chamber (House or Senate) it originated in. Committee chairs decide which bills will come up for a vote in their committees. Bills they don’t bring up for a committee vote do not progress and will not become law. This is what it means for a bill to “die.”
The deadline for bills to be voted out of committee is February 1st. Most bills will die on that day. Those still alive will be placed on the calendar to be voted on by the full House or Senate. You can learn more about how a bill becomes a law here.
To find a specific bill from this year’s session, use the Legislation tab on the website and go to the bottom of the page to click on “select a measure.” Then choose HB (for House bill) or SB (for Senate bill) and fill in the number of the bill. If you don’t know the number of a bill, you can also search by text, committee, or legislator.
If you would like to give feedback on a bill, one of the quickest and most effective ways to do so is to call the Capitol switchboard at (601) 359-3770 and ask them to give the relevant committee chair a message. Our list of bills includes the committees to which bills were assigned. This link lists the chairs of each committee.
Families as Allies does not typically take stances on legislation. Still, we want you to have as much information as possible so that you can advocate for what you think is best for your children and family. If you would like assistance in understanding a piece of legislation or contacting a policymaker, feel free to reach out to us. We will follow the list of bills we shared as the session progresses and provide more detailed information about specific bills.