School funding plan alive, private school money dead - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

School funding plan alive, private school money dead

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Thursday marked the second deadline during the three-month session of the Mississippi Legislature. It was the final day for the House and Senate to act on general bills originating in their own chamber. Most bills that survived the deadline are going to a committee in the opposite chamber for more debate. Tax and spending bills are alive under a later deadline to pass out of committee.

Here's a look at the status of selected bills, with HB to designate a House Bill and SB to designate a Senate Bill:

ALIVE

TRANSPORTATION - The House has passed a number of bills meant to divert current or future revenue to transportation spending, including HB 722 , which would divert money from a tax on internet sales to cities and counties and HB 354 , which would take half the growth in the state general fund in any year it exceeded 2 percent and use it for road and bridge maintenance. SB 2455 would divert a slightly larger share of sales taxes to cities if state revenue rises.

SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA - House members have moved to rewrite the state's current public school funding formula. HB 957 would increase funding by $107 million from this year after a seven-year phase in. But the proposal at that point would spend $157 million less than the current formula legally mandates next year.

MEDICAID RULES - Both the House and the Senate are considering proposals to renew parts of the state's Medicaid health insurance program, as they're legally mandated to do this year. SB 2836 mandates studies of whether more spending should be controlled by managed care groups and whether payments to health care providers should be cut. Both the Senate bill and HB 898 would change the current limits on doctors' office visits and prescriptions for Medicaid recipients, with a goal of managing chronic conditions and reducing emergency-room visits for non-emergency illnesses.

OIL SPILL MONEY - SB 2176 seeks to create a separate account in the state treasury for the state's $750 million economic damage settlement from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. HB 1512 and HB 1185 would try to put someone else besides lawmakers in charge of spending the money.

GANG PENALTIES - SB 2868 would add penalties for gang members who are recruiting children to the criminal organizations.

FAKE URINE - HB 1080 , the "Mississippi Urine Trouble Act," would set penalties for selling fake human urine that's designed to defeat drug tests.

SEXTING - SB 2803 would prohibit people younger than 18 from sending, receiving or possessing sexually explicit images of other minors.

FERTILITY TREATMENTS - HB 1198 would require private insurers to pay for up to $20,000 to treat married people who are having trouble conceiving children.

WIND POOL - HB 948 requires the insurance commissioner's approval before the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association, known as the "wind pool," can buy more backup coverage, known as reinsurance, above a certain level. Commissioner Mike Chaney said he's been imploring the 11-member board that runs the pool to buy less reinsurance for years.

GUNS - HB 1083 would void rules limiting where some people are allowed to carry guns on public property and allow people to sue to challenge rules. Universities are warning against the bill, saying athletic opponents could balk at playing in stadiums in front of armed spectators.

CIVIL SERVICE PROTECTIONS - HB 355 would remove civil service protections from Mississippi Department of Transportation employees for two years.

DEAD

SHOPLIFTING FELONY - HB 997 would have made any third shoplifting conviction a felony.

TOLL ROADS - HB 1004 would have allowed the state to impose tolls on certain roads as part of a federal pilot program.

DEER HUNTING - HB 758 would have banned the use of thermal imaging devices in deer hunting.

CHILDREN'S CABINET - HB 985 would have created a group of people to advise the governor on how to improve family life, health care and education for children.

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