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Mississippi Legislative Update as of March 14, 2023

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Families as Allies is following several bills related to children and families and the issues that affect them. Many bills have returned to the House in which they originated to see if that chamber agrees with any amendments (changes) that legislators made to the bills as they went through the legislative process.

The House agreed with the Senate’s changes to HB1222The Mississippi Collaborative Response to Mental Health Act. This bill makes several changes to Mississippi’s mental health system, intending to improve it. For instance, it provides more training for law enforcement officers to respond to people with mental illness, modifies board terms for Department of Mental Health board members and requires more tracking and reporting of data about people in jail waiting for mental health treatment. We appreciate Representative Sam Creekmore for authoring it and all the time and research he put into it. We also appreciate the time and care Representative Nicholas Bain and Senator Hob Bryan put into this bill.

The Senate agreed with the House’s changes to SB2376Youth court; clarify that disclosure of certain records in criminal matters do not require youth court approval. This bill changes how the justice system can share some information.

Please check this list of bills Families as Allies is following for bills going to the conference committee because the House and Senate disagreed. Lt. Governor Hosemann will now appoint three senators, and Speaker Gunn will appoint three representatives to craft an acceptable bill for both sides. Rule 23A in the Joint Rules of the Senate and House states that conference committee meetings are open to the public. Bills must come out of conference committees by March 29 to remain alive.

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