The House has been busy working on bills that survived the first Committee deadline, and we have sent a number of worthy measures to the Senate for their consideration.
The operations of the Legislature are open to the public, and I invite you to check the House schedule at www.legislature.ms.gov to see when we’ll be on the floor in debate. You can access the live webcasts and see your legislature at work.
If you miss debate on a certain measure, you can go to the Mississippi College School of Law website and access videos of debate on specific measures at their “Legislative Project.” These are important tools of access that Mississippi citizens did not possess through most of our history. I believe that an informed citizenry is the best basis for a strong democracy.
Among the measures that we have passed since deadline are those that address painful family situations, such as divorce, child custody and child abuse. These matters affect Mississippians from every walk of life, at every income level and every background. House Bill 707 provides visitation rights for great-grandparents. House Bill 185 provides that emotional, verbal and psychological abuse are grounds for divorce under the habitual cruel and inhuman treatment provisions. House Bill 961 changes the name of the Children’s Justice Center to the Children’s Safe Center – maybe a small change, but it speaks volumes about why children become involved with this center in the first place.
On Friday, Feb. 6 the House passed two measures that will affect drivers all over the state, if the Senate agrees. House Bill 335 raises the speed limit to 75 on our interstate highways, which is consistent with speed limits in other states.
House Bill 389 prohibits texting, emailing and other types of data work on cell phones by drivers. Many of us are concerned about the numerous studies that show texting while driving is a much more deadly activity than even drinking while driving. I do hope that by the end of this session, we will have passed legislation that will protect every person on the highways from this danger. At this writing, HB 389 is held on a motion to reconsider.
House Bill 885 requires insurance companies to provide coverage for certain services for children with autism. I was happy to co-sponsor this measure to provide help for the many Mississippi families that are struggling to provide their children with a successful productive life.
House Bill 988 which designates a certain segment of MS Highway 2 in Alcorn County as “Agent Harold Lane Caldwell Memorial Highway” passed out of both the Transportation and Appropriations Committees and will soon be before the full House. Agent Caldwell was killed in the line of duty as a drug agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in 1979. I am pleased that this measure honoring one of Alcorn County’s fallen sons has received such positive response.
I was happy to welcome Taylor Coombs with the Main Street Association to the Capitol, along with Brett and Leroy Marlar. It was great to be home in Corinth for the annual Wildlife Tasting Supper. I’m proud of the work that this group does to help conserve and preserve our wildlife.
Please feel free to contact me on these or any other measures before the Legislature. Please call me at (662) 287-1620, email email@example.com, message me on FaceBook at Nicholas Ryan Bain or follow me on Twitter @StateRepBain.