The Clarion-Ledger interviewed numerous committee chairmen to see what they expect to be the main issues their committees will deal with for the 2015 session.
Below are a few of the items chairmen expect to tackle. Click HERE to read the article and to see the entire list.
•Reform of no-bid Mississippi Department of Corrections contracts.
•A review of private prisons in the state.
•A bill to require a National Institute of Corrections audit of county jails located on sites of regional prisons. Findings from the audit would be used to help a sheriff to determine where corrective action is needed at a county jail. There would be no penalty.
•A bill that would provide more oversight over inmate welfare funds.
•Several “technical fixes” for the Department of Education.
•More money for scholarships for students dealing with dyslexia.
•More money for teachers to purchase supplies.
•Possible minor changes to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.
•Addressing average daily attendance in school districts.
•Continuing funding of pre-kindergarten program.
•Funding for the third-grade reading gate program.
•Addressing the falsifying of grades where school districts provide misleading information about how well schools are performing.
•Allow online voting registration and early voting.
•Reform the primary process to end the practice of allowing voters from an opposing party to cross over and vote in the primary of another party.
•Reduce the size of the state Legislature to cut cost and expenses.
•Impose term limits on members of the state Legislature.
Finance and Ways & Means
•Consideration of various tax cut proposals.
•Fully funding a bond request from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
•Funding of a $5 million bond for small municipalities and limited counties infrastructure improvements.
•Funding of Mississippi Development Authority requests.
•Possible funding to entice Fortune 500 companies to locate headquarters in Mississippi.
•A judicial redistricting bill.
•Enhancing the safety of law enforcement officers.
•Bills to curb waste, fraud and abuse.
•A law to regulate Medicaid planners.
Public Health and Welfare
•Ways to provide better access to health care through additional medical providers and clinics.
•Ways to help the 43 rural hospitals with 50 beds or less to stay open.
•Funding for highways.
•One-time funding for roads and bridge projects in cities and counties to bridge the gap until there is a long-range funding plan.
Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
•A push for more conservation officers, or game wardens.
•An update on the wild hog problem and review of how recent legislation is working.