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Report To The People

By Tommy Reynolds
District 33 Representative

As we are working toward the close of the 2019 session, we are considering whether or not to approve changes made to House bills by the Senate. If we agree with the changes, the bills go to the Governor for his signature. Likewise, if the Senate agrees with our changes, they will become law with the Governor’s signature.

If we do not agree, the measures go to conference committee where three members from each chamber meet to iron out differences. For example, we made a significant change in Senate Bill 2770 last week when we increased the proposed teacher pay raise to $4,000 over two years, rather than $1,000. I strongly support a significant teacher pay raise, and it is my hope that our amendment prevails during the conference meeting.

House Bill 1352, the Criminal Justice Reform Act, is also in conference. This bill is designed to apply common-sense penalties to non-violent crimes, to provide specialized courts for certain offenses, like crimes caused through drug addiction, and to offer offenders help in becoming contributing members of society. I supported this measure and look forward to seeing the final version of the bill when it comes out of committee.

Both chambers passed House Bill 571, which I co-authored. This is a measure designed to protect minors who have been forced into human trafficking situations. It is due from the Governor on March 28 and will go into effect July 1.

We also passed House Bill 1283, the School Safety Act, which I supported. This measure will provide safety training for educators, mandate safety inspections for school properties and create a reporting mechanism where students and teachers can report suspect behavior to the Department of Public Safety. This measure is expected to be signed by the Governor and will become law on July 1, 2019.

The majority of bills under consideration during this portion of the session are appropriation and revenue measures. These measures determine state agency budgets and the means of funding them. We have been encouraged by the increase in tax revenue and hope that some of the draconian agency cuts employed during the last few sessions can be restored.

I send congratulations to the citizens of the Water Valley School District and the families served by the school district for the overwhelming approval of a school bond issue. It is rare to see 93.4 percent of a group agree on anything, but this turnout and result shows the determination and pride of community that exists in Water Valley School District.

If I can be of service, please call on me.  My office address is P. O. Drawer 280, Charleston, MS 38921, and my office telephone number is (662) 647-3203.  My home address is 1720 North Main Street, Water Valley, MS  38965.  My email address is

Mississippi Dental Association members and students from the School of Dentistry at UMMC spent time at the Mississippi Legislature advocating for oral health care issues such as strengthening the dental workforce and improving dental benefit coverage concerns. 
The group included dental students and constituents from Representative Tommy Reynolds’ district (from left) Ambika Srivastava, Payal Patel, Reynolds, Catherine Holman, Nikki Morel and Brandie White.

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