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Report To The People

House Passes Bills To Invigorate Economy

By Tommy Reynolds

Last week we worked primarily on finishing up the Appropriation and Revenue bills from the House and sending them over to the Senate for consideration. 

The House Ways and Means Committee, on which I serve, passed several bills that should invigorate economic development in our rural areas.

Last week the House of Representatives passed the Main Street Investment Act (House Bill 1618).  The Bill was passed on Wednesday, February 25, by a vote of 118-2. This measure  provides $5 million in bonds for municipalities with populations of fewer than 15,000 residents. The bonds are directed toward revitalizing downtown areas.  We are hopeful that the Senate will concur with this worthy idea this year.  Our rural towns and cities need help in restoring their downtown areas into retail, dining and cultural centers once again.

In an effort to address the rising cost of home insurance in some areas, House Bill 1134 approves the establishment of Catastrophe Savings Accounts and exempts contributions and distributions to them from income tax. We anticipate that this effort will help homeowners afford increasing insurance premiums as a result of additional risks. Additionally, through these savings accounts, homeowners will be allowed to have higher deductibles on their policies. This will only be allowed in catastrophic instances. It passed by a vote of 121-0.

In the coming days, I expect that we will be voting to approve a Senate Bill, to enable drivers to show proof of insurance from their cell phones. I believe this idea is one whose time has come.  It will cut down on drivers having to fumble and reach for papers as well as provide officers with an at-a-glance proof that drivers are compliant with our insurance laws. The measure also includes a provision that prohibits anyone from digging through a person’s cell phone for other information.  

Please feel free to contact me at 1720 N Main Street, Water Valley, MS 38965,  by email or by phone at (662) 473-2571. I look forward to hearing from you on any issue that you may have. 


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