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New Mississippi laws cover education, abortion, other issues

Mississippi begins a new budget year Friday with a tight $6.4 billion spending plan that cuts money for many state services, including mental health.

And while budget battles have dominated headlines in recent weeks, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has signed dozens of bills that become law Friday. In this list, HB stands for House Bill and SB is for Senate Bill:

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BECOMING LAW FRIDAY:

APPOINTED SUPERINTENDENTS — SB 2438 (http://bit.ly/1RpuTs3 ) requires all school superintendents to be appointed, beginning in 2019. Those elected in 2015 will serve their current four-year terms.

ACHIEVEMENT SCHOOL DISTRICT — HB 989 (http://bit.ly/1p25v2d ) creates a statewide school district that would take control of poorly performing school districts or individual schools. The first schools could be taken over in 2017.

CHARTER SCHOOLS — SB 2161 (http://bit.ly/1RxqDdc ) allows some students to attend charter schools outside their home districts.

JACKSON AIRPORT — SB 2162 (http://bit.ly/1RnU1x1 ) replaces the current five-member board appointed by Mayor Tony Yarber with a nine-member Jackson Metropolitan Airport Authority. State officials and two suburban counties would appoint a majority, but five of nine members would have to live in Jackson. City officials are backing a lawsuit that seeks to block the changes.

ABORTION — HB 519 (http://bit.ly/1PpUWLo ) outlaws a procedure called dilation and evacuation unless an abortion is required to prevent irreversible physical impairment to the pregnant woman. It prohibits abortions extracting a live fetus in pieces using instruments such as clamps and forceps.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD —SB 2238 (http://bit.ly/1o4A5XO ) blocks Medicaid from spending money with any health care provider that offers abortion. Records show that from July 2013 to August 2015, Mississippi Medicaid spent $439 with Planned Parenthood at a Hattiesburg clinic that offers birth control and cancer screenings but doesn’t do abortions. Planned Parenthood is suing the state to try to block the law.

HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES — HB 1151 (http://bit.ly/1UDy1UJ ) allows the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to raise the price of hunting and fishing licenses, requiring the money be used to hire and equip game wardens.

RIDE HAILING SERVICES — HB 1381 (http://bit.ly/29dwZNW ) creates statewide regulations to govern Uber, Lyft and other online ride-hailing services, overriding the ability of cities to regulate them.

CELL PHONE NO-CALL LIST — SB 2366 (http://bit.ly/29dxpUK ) adds cellphones to the state’s no-call list for telemarketing.

BAIL AGENTS — SB 2664 (http://bit.ly/1WXfOPM ) puts additional regulations on bail bond companies.

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ALREADY IN LAW:

GUNS IN CHURCH — HB 786 (http://bit.ly/1ZIUFLb ) became law when the governor signed it April 15. It allows places of worship to designate members to undergo firearms training and carry guns to protect the congregation. It also allows people to carry guns in holsters without a concealed weapons permit.

DEATH PENALTY SECRECY — SB 2237 (http://bit.ly/1QT3fQm ) became law when the governor signed it May 3. It says the names of employees and family members at an execution, as well as the pharmacy providing lethal drugs, would be kept secret.

CONTINENTAL TIRE — HB 1 (http://bit.ly/22RlLja ) was passed in February during a special session, and it became law immediately. It provides hundreds of millions of dollars of state money and incentives for German firm Continental AG to build a tire plant in Hinds County.

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BECOMING LAW LATER:

TAX CUT — SB 2858 (http://bit.ly/1QI7AdY ), which becomes law Jan. 1, would phase out Mississippi’s $260-million-a-year corporate franchise tax. It would also cut $145 million in income taxes, raising the threshold for paying state income taxes to $10,000. Those reductions would begin in 2018. Mississippi also would lower taxes on self-employment, cutting $10.2 million over three years beginning in 2017.

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