Teacher Pay Increase Tops 2014 Legislative Session

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Jackson, Miss. Mississippi lawmakers used their 2014 session to enact changes to the criminal justice system, give pay raises to teachers and a few thousand lower-paid state employees and put more money into training new state troopers.

They passed bills to limit union activities and to make it harder for the state to try to collect a higher share of taxes from multistate corporations.

They also passed bills to appeal to social conservatives, including one to ban abortion at 20 weeks and another to require drug testing of some welfare recipients.

One new law will add "In God We Trust" to the state seal and ban government from curtailing religious practices. Critics worry it could lead to anti-gay discrimination, while supporters say it will protect a fundamental right of expression.