Progress Report for Mississippi House

By: Mike McDaniel
By: Mike McDaniel

Less than a month to go in this year's legislative session and first year Speaker of the House Representative Philip Gunn says so far, so good.

"I think it's gone very smoothly," Gunn says.

Since the Republican takeover of the House in January, Gunn says many of the Republican agenda items are finally seeing debate and passage after a long history of being suppressed with Democrats in control.

"We have been convinced for years that if these bills were allowed to get to the floor, they would pass and we've proven to be right," he adds.

Gunn says the House's passage of the Attorney General Sunshine Act and the Child Protection Act are examples of that, even though he expects both to end up going to conference, but not all lawmakers agreed with bills. Democratic Representative Charles Young says the Sunshine Act is clearly a Republican attack on the Democratic Attorney General.

"The attorney general's powers are granted in the constitution of the state of Mississippi and the legislation that we passed actually contradicts those constitutional rights," Young says.

Whatever the outcome, Young says it's been a challenging session, especially lately.

"We got off to a very, very slow start," he says. "The first month we really didn't do anything at all."

That's a different story for the last month and half. From abortion bills to tax incentives, Gunn says at times, the amount of bills before lawmakers was overwhelming, but all of them handled.

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