We spent most of last week in committee meetings because we were required to pass all general bills out of committee by January 31. There are a number of high-profile measures that we were hoping would make it to the floor of the House for a vote, and some that we were hoping would die in committee. I expect a lot of action will have taken place on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
On a reversal, the House voted narrowly to approve House Bill 555, which will stop litigation being pursued by the Attorney General so that it can be “reviewed” by a panel before going forward. The actions of the Attorney General have resulted in billions of dollars being returned to Mississippi by wrongdoers.
Those of us opposed to this measure fear that it will stifle future efforts to go after bad actors. It could effectively kill any major litigation going forward. I think this is a short-sighted swipe at the sitting, popularly- elected, Attorney General for political reasons and under the influence of those who fear the microscope of a court room. There is also a question as to whether or not the bill would even pass constitutional muster. I opposed this measure.
Areas of litigation involving land use regulations, utility rate cases, waste dump siting cases, and fraudulent business practices could be adversely affected.
The House voted unanimously in favor of House Bill 680, which would rename the Mississippi Department of Environ-mental Quality Building in Jackson as the “Patrick Alan Nunnelee Building” in honor of the late Mississippi Congressman. I served in the legislature with the late, former state senator and was happy to add my name as a sponsor of the measure.
It is always good to welcome folks to the Capitol. Among the groups visiting the Capitol this week were members of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges, the Mississippi Tourism Association, the Mississippi Nurses Association and the National Guard Associa-tion of Mississippi and many others.
If I can be of assistance in any way, please call on me. My local office telephone number is 662-647-3203 and my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. My mailing address is 1720 North Main St., Water Valley, MS 38965.