Mississippi Lawmakers Work through Deadline Day

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Any bill that doesn't get out of the Mississippi House or Senate Tuesday misses the cut for the 2014 session.

“After this being a deadline day the process is going to begin and we're going to be off rolling,” said Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones, chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, a Democrat.

As the hours ticked down, Rep. Brad Mayo tried to make a last minute plea for a bill that would limit junk food purchases with food stamps.

“I have yet to see a Mississippi farm that grows 2 liter soft drinks or chocolate snack cakes,” said Mayo.

But the public health chairman doesn't plan on taking the issue back up.

Education committees have a lot on their plate. On the House side, teacher pay raises have taken center stage. The House proposal would give a $4,250 raise over the next four years.

Chairman John Moore says there's not much room to shift those numbers.

“There's just a certain amount of money we can commit to the teacher pay raises and anything that goes beyond that is going to endanger the life of the bill itself,” Moore said.

Chairman Herb Frierson's House Appropriations Committee also passed the raise proposal Tuesday. It now goes to the House floor.

“There's a good chance it's going to happen unless the economy, you know, goes to Hades in a hand basket,” said Frierson.

Both chambers' education committees passed legislation that would create a separate district to take over individual failing schools. The Department of Education can currently only take over full districts.

Several public health, corrections and criminal justice bills have also made it through the committee gauntlet. They will come up for floor debates as the session continues.