Mississippi Legislature still considering Medicaid expansion and school financing.  

Jackson, Miss.— The Mississippi Legislature is considering Medicaid expansion and public school finance reform. House and Senate committees had till Tuesday to review general bills and constitutional amendments from the opposite chamber. The full House and Senate discuss surviving legislation. Budget and revenue bills pass later.

Medicaid expansion—alive Mississippi lawmakers will try to agree on Medicaid expansion in one of the poorest states after the Senate passed a very different plan than the House. The Senate measure would insure fewer people and deliver less federal money to the state than the House version. A stronger work requirement and provisions to block Medicaid expansion are also part of the Senate's plan.

Education funding—alive Senate leaders seek to change the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which funds districts to fulfill midlevel academic standards but has only been fully funded twice since 1997. House leaders want to implement INSPIRE—Investing in Student Needs to Prioritize, Impact, and Reform Education. The cost per student would be set by 13 educators. Senate Bill 2332 added the House plan, but the House bill died. Leaders should negotiate a final version.

House Bill 722 updates circuit and chancery court boundaries. The House approved the bill. The Senate Judiciary A Committee amended the bill, which awaiting Senate review. Greenville Democratic Sen. Derrick Simmons opposed the measure, saying it would consolidate two Delta circuit court districts and cut the area's seven judgeships to three. Pascagoula Republican Judiciary A Committee Chairman Brice Wiggins stated population declines lead to judge losses.

Sports betting on mobile is alive Legalize mobile sports betting with House Bill 774. Thirty other states allow it. Mississippi could generate $25 million to $35 million in tax money, according to bill sponsor Republican Rep. Casey Eure of Saucier. Sports betting has been legal in Mississippi for years, but online betting is forbidden due to concerns it could hurt casinos.

Single-sex spaces and binary sex definition ALIVE Senate Bill 2753 and House Bill 1607 mandate single-sex toilets and changing areas or unisex places for one individual in public buildings. The bills define sex as binary and prohibit entering “opposite sex” locations. They would prevent transgender persons, especially transitioners, from using gender-appropriate restrooms. Those who enter the wrong place may be sued.

Jackson Water Regional Board—Dead A bill to establish a state-appointed regional body to manage Jackson's water system failed for the second year. The board would have taken control once a federally designated independent administrator leaves Jackson under Senate Bill 2628. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the bill showed the majority-white and Republican Legislature seeking to take over a majority-Black city. Republican Sen. David Parker of Olive Branch said the bill will address utility concerns that have left communities without water.

FELONS' VOTING RIGHTS RESTORATION—DEAD House Bill 1609 would have simplified voting rights restoration for some felons. The House passed the bill, but Picayune Republican Senate Constitution Committee Chairwoman Angela Hill kept it from being voted on.

Early voting 15 days before election—deadline Senate Bill 2580 would have permitted 15-day-ahead in-person voting. The bill cleared the Senate but died after Collins Republican Noah Sanford did not vote on it in his House Apportionment and Elections Committee. Mississippi allows absentee voting before elections for persons 65 or older, disabled, or out of town on Election Day. It is one of four states without no-excuse early voting.

Downtown casino DEAD JACKSON Downtown Jackson may have had a casino under House Bill 1989. Mississippi only authorizes state-regulated casinos on the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River. Sponsored by Senatobia Republican Trey Lamar, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, the bill was not voted on because House Republicans felt it lacked enough support.

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