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Status of some bills in the Mississippi Legislature

JACKSON — Tuesday marked the first big deadline during the 3 ½ -month session of the Mississippi Legislature. It was the final day for House and Senate committees to act on general bills filed in their own chamber. Some bills that survived the deadline have already gone to the full House or Senate for debate; others move to one of the two chambers. Here’s a look at the status of selected bills, with HB to designate a House Bill and SB to designate a Senate Bill:

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ALIVE

CHARTER SCHOOLS — Charter schools, operated by nonprofit groups separate from other public schools, could accept students from other school districts. HB 1044, http://bit.ly/21p0LRY , and SB 2161, http://bit.ly/21p0Yod .

APPOINTED SUPERINTENDENTS — All school superintendents would be appointed after the current four-year term, eliminating the election of superintendents in 55 districts. SB 2438, http://bit.ly/21p59R4 .

SCHOOL DISTRICT CONSOLIDATIONS — Several bills would require consolidation of school districts. Holmes County and Durant, HB 926, http://bit.ly/21p7BqE and SB 2494, http://bit.ly/21p85Nx . Leflore County and Greenwood, HB 987, http://bit.ly/21p7UBP , and SB 2496, http://bit.ly/1S02Ktt . Chickasaw County, Houston and Okolona, HB 991, http://bit.ly/21p7MSP , and SB 2497, http://bit.ly/1S02MS7 . Carroll County, Montgomery County and Winona, SB 2495, http://bit.ly/21p8i3j . Lumberton and Lamar County, SB 2500, http://bit.ly/1S02Ykd .

EARLY VOTING — People could start voting three weeks before an election. Current law requires people to report specific reasons for voting early. HB 796, http://bit.ly/1VzXYSu.

ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION — People would be allowed to fill out voter registration forms online. HB 809, http://bit.ly/1ovypaY .

ELECTION CONDUCT — Penalties would increase against anyone charged with improper conduct of elections, including tampering with ballot boxes. HB 866, http://bit.ly/1VzXYSu .

CAMPAIGN FINANCE — Candidates would be required to report details about campaign expenses they pay with a credit card. SB 2374, http://bit.ly/1ovgcdD .

JACKSON AIRPORT — A board governing Jackson’s Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport would be expanded to add members from outside the capital city. SB 2162, http://bit.ly/21p2xTc .

BAIL AGENTS — Bail bond companies would face additional state regulations. SB 2664, http://bit.ly/21p39bm .

OFFICIAL PER DIEM — State payments would increase from $40 to $150 for some state and local officials for attending meetings. HB 1421, http://bit.ly/1QGg7d9 .

SUPREME COURT DISTRICTS — Simpson County would move from the southern to the central Supreme Court district. HB 868, http://bit.ly/21p3ryT .

ABORTION — A commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure, dilation and evacuation, would be banned. Courts have already blocked similar laws that Kansas and Oklahoma enacted in 2015. HB 590, http://bit.ly/1K8rFcx .

RELIGIOUS OBJECTIONS — State officials, private business owners and others who provide services to the public couldn’t be punished for acting on religious beliefs that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. HB 1523, http://bit.ly/1Qp06hK .

GUNS IN CHURCH — Houses of worship could designate members to undergo firearms training and carry guns to protect the congregation. HB 786, http://bit.ly/1TnPAWO .

TERRORISM SUSPICION — People would be immune from civil or criminal penalties in Mississippi for making good-faith reports to law enforcement officers if they suspect others are planning terroristic acts. HB 978, http://bit.ly/21p5KSF .

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DEAD

TAN BAN FOR TEENS — People younger than 18 would have been banned from using indoor tanning beds and lamps. HB 1182, http://bit.ly/1VsISOH , and SB 2076, http://bit.ly/1VsIXSl .

WINE IN GROCERY STORES — Grocery stores could have sold wine, or alternately the state would have studied the possibility of such sales. HB 841, http://bit.ly/1Txopcr , and SB 2821, http://bit.ly/21p65ok .

BEER SALES BY BREWERIES — Breweries could have sold beer on premises, and brewpubs could have sold beer for people to take home. HB 846, http://bit.ly/1TxoXyS , and SB 2744, http://bit.ly/21p0vm7 .

CAMPAIGN FINANCE — Prohibit elected officials from using campaign contributions for personal expenses. HB 685, http://bit.ly/21p6gQD .

ANIMAL ABUSE — Penalties would have been strengthened for the abuse of cats and dogs. SB2174, http://bit.ly/21p4Gy1 .

ASSISTANT TEACHERS — Assistant teachers would have gotten a pay raise above $12,500. HB 247, http://bit.ly/1TxpIIj .

LUNCH MONEY — Schools could have used collection agencies to seek overdue lunch money if a student owes more than $15. It would not have applied to students who qualify for free or reduced lunches. HB 1064, http://bit.ly/20Zx6yC .

CREATIONISM — Teachers would have had a broad discussion with students about scientific topics that might cause “debate and disputation,” such as evolution, the chemical origins of life, climate change and human cloning. HB 50, http://bit.ly/1KfKBGm.

VENOMOUS SNAKES — Venomous snakes would have been added to a state list of inherently dangerous animals. HB 23, http://bit.ly/21p28QG .

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