Bills Sent to Bryant for Signature

By: Mike McDaniel Email
By: Mike McDaniel Email


Before the Mississippi legislative session even started, the debate over charter schools and education reform set the stage for a political battle.

Now, several bills which will change the state's educational system, are one sure step away from reality.

"The path to Mississippi's economic success must pass through the school house door," said Gov. Phil Bryant.

Bryant pushed lawmakers to pass several bills as part of his education agenda, including charter schools, a third grade reading gate and new standards and requirements for people who want to become teachers. All of it now waits on his signature.

Some new criminal laws could also be on the way after an attempted murder category was agreed on by lawmakers. It would bring a sentence of 20 years to life. A second- degree murder charge is also clearing some last minute hurdles.

Tracking problem sex offenders will be a little easier under Lenora's Law which will require sex offenders who violate the state's registry system to wear a GPS tracking device.

"It protects victims of sex offenses from people who have proven they can't follow the law," said Sen. Will Longwitz of Madison.

A bill known as Erin's Law is also about to be sent to the governor. It'll put age appropriate sexual abuse prevention education in public schools.

"It lets the kids know that they can tell someone when they have a problem," said Rep. Tom Miles of Forest. "The next thing it does is we're hoping it will be used as a deterrent from sexual predators messing with these innocent children."

Stronger laws against drunk driving are also headed to the governor's desk. Under it, a judge could require anyone convicted of a first offense DUI to have an ignition interlock device put on their car.

"This law will help save lives and it will help prevent repeat offenses," said Patrick Harris of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Gov. Bryant has 15 days to sign the bills once they reach his desk


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