The Mississippi Legislature is officially back in session! The bang of the gavel indicates a new year with plenty of possibilities for the government to spend your money in increasingly astounding ways.
However, we are hopeful that some good can be done in the next few months. With the launch of our 2022 Freedom Agenda, we’ll be pushing for a range of policy changes that seek to advance liberty in our state.
Already more than 300 bills were introduced in the House. Here is a highlight of some of the good, the bad, and the just plain interesting…
HB 164 would defend the free speech rights of students on college campuses. The legislation would take a positive step to ensure that students are not discriminated against based on their religion or political ideology. It guarantees the ability for students to peacefully assemble, protest, host speakers, distribute literature, carry signs, and circulate petitions. Our campuses should be bastions of speech and thoughtful discourse, and this bill helps to guarantee that.
HB 239 would authorize the sale of wine in grocery stores. It is long past time that the state ends the enduring legacy of prohibition in Mississippi. The taste of alcohol freedom is sweet, and this bill, along with a range of others, would help to lift unnecessary restrictions on the free market.
HB 253 would guarantee that the 2nd Amendment is upheld in Mississippi. The legislation would prevent any federal efforts to confiscate the legally-owned firearms of law-abiding Mississippi citizens.
HB 199 would authorize early voting for up to 21 days in the state of Mississippi.
HB 97 would mandate Medicaid expansion in Mississippi. Expansion in other states has consistently failed to produce the desired outcomes and led to major new financial burdens on taxpayers.
Finally, there are too many bills to mention that seek to create countless new government departments, agencies, task forces, and more. We should always be wary of the continued expansion of an already bloated government bureaucracy.
HB 181 would establish blue as the official state color of Mississippi (Personally, I am more of a fan of pink)
HB 273 would mandate homework by requiring teachers to introduce daily and weekly work assignments for students. I’m not sure if there is a lobbyist on behalf of Mississippi children but I imagine that constituency will be quite enraged.
Hunter Estes is Senior Director of Policy & Communications at the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.