Two and a half months into the legislative session, and several major bills backed by Northside lawmakers failed to gain traction.
Among them were bills that would have curbed teen vaping, allowed the direct shipment of wine to customers and have repealed the sunset clause on the city of Jackson’s one-percent infrastructure sales tax.
Last week, the Senate voted down SB 2799, which would have placed a tax on e-cigarettes and other vaping products.
The measure was authored by District 29 Sen. David Blount. He said that the tax would have helped curb teen and under-age vaping, which has become a problem in the state.
The Senate killed the bill on March 12, on a 31-21 vote on the chamber floor. The bill required a three-fifths majority to pass. Blount had filed a motion to reconsider.
District 25 Sen. Walter Michel had also filed a motion to reconsider SB 2534, which would have allowed the direct shipment of wine to customers.
Michel authored that bill along with District 26 Sen. John Horhn and District 13 Sen. Sarita Simmons.
That bill failed on a 13-32 vote.
Several items from the city of Jackson’s legislative wish list also failed.
HB 791, a measure that would have repealed the sunset clause associated with the city’s one-percent infrastructure tax, died in the House Municipalities and Ways and Means committees.
The tax is still set to sunset in 2034.
HB 362 didn’t fare any better. That measure would have repealed the state’s efforts to do away with the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority. It died in the House Ports, Harbors and Airports Committee.
Jackson has been fighting the state’s efforts since 2016, when lawmakers approved legislation to do away with JMAA and replace it with a regional authority.
Several bills that would have given local governments another tool to address abandoned properties also fell flat.
HB 792, HB 1012 and SB 2769, which authorized local governments to create land banks, all failed to make it out of their respective House and Senate committees.
Land banks are quasi-governmental organizations that have the ability to acquire and clean dilapidated properties, clear their titles and resell them for new development.
In many cases, land bank authorities are set up by local governments, who then appoint board of directors. Those boards then have the ability to raise funds to purchase dilapidated and abandoned properties, clean them and sell them for future development.