/Mississippi lawmakers to remain in session through December

Mississippi lawmakers to remain in session through December

Tuesday saw the Legislature return to work on the regular 2020 session. On Wednesday, the House passed a resolution allowing lawmakers to continue in session until the end, if necessary, in order to pass any bills related to the coronavirus. The Legislature could extend the session for up to 30 days, but unless both chambers approve, sine die or the end of the session would be Dec. 31. This would only apply to bills related to coronavirus. Regular legislative deadlines would not be affected. Even though the Legislature would have to pass a budget, and complete regular business as per those deadlines which can extend into mid-July, they would still need to do so. Rep. Jason White (R-West) stated that this would allow the Legislature to accomplish what it was elected to do: respond to the pandemic and meet the state’s needs. White stated that this would not increase taxpayer costs. The annual salary for lawmakers is $10,000. Every month that they are not in session, they get $1,500. Under the extension, they could still receive $1,500 per month. The governor said that the resolution was the decision of the lawmakers when he was asked about it during Wednesday’s daily press conference. Reeves stated, “I believe it is the prerogative the Legislature.” “If they are willing to work for free, I think that’s good.” The legislative session was initially scheduled to end in April. However, due to the pandemic, lawmakers were forced to postpone it and reschedule for July 12. The state Constitution gives the Legislature the power to extend the session for up to 30 days, subject to a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House. Speaker Philip Gunn, and Lieutenant Governor would be able to keep the session open indefinitely. Delbert Hosemann can call the Legislature back into session whenever it sees fit. The session would end if the governor called a special session to allow the Legislature to meet to discuss and vote on bills. The Senate must still pass the resolution, and it will likely be up for consideration on Thursday. To continue this important work, support this effort and make a regular donation to the Spring Member Drive today.