LEGISLATURE: Lawmakers Have Another Busy Day
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi lawmakers are saying no to home school students who want play sports in public schools.
Senate Bill 2329 died Thursday when 17 senators voted for it and 31 voted against it. The bill said home school students could play sports or do activities such as cheerleading or debate at a local public school.
It was named the “Tim Tebow Act” after the Heisman-winning quarterback who was home schooled but played public school sports in Florida. Republican Joey Fillingane of Sumrall says parents of home school students pay taxes and the children should get to participate in public school activities.
Democratic Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory opposed the bill because home school students wouldn’t have to meet the same academic standards as public school students to participate in activities.
PUBLIC HOSPITALS UNDER OPEN MEETINGS LAW
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Mississippi Senate has voted to bring more transparency to the way publicly owned hospitals are run.
Senate Bill 2407 passed the Senate unanimously Thursday and moves to the House for more work. It specifies that boards of public hospitals must abide by the state Open Meetings law.
It also says hospital board members must live in the same county where the hospital is located.
Republican Sen. Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula says the bill was prompted by problems at the Singing River Health System in Jackson County. The hospital revealed last year that it had secretly stopped putting money into the employee pension fund in 2009.
Wiggins says such problems might have been avoided if the public and the media already had access to hospital board meetings.
PRISON WORKERS MAY LOSE CIVIL SERVICE STANDING
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Employees in the Mississippi prison system could lose their civil-service job protection for a year, under a plan being considered by lawmakers.
The state Senate voted 34-14 Thursday to pass Senate Bill 2804. It would give the Mississippi Department of Corrections commissioner the power to hire and fire employees without following state Personnel Board rules for one year, starting July 1.
The bill moves to the House for more work.
Marshall Fisher became corrections commissioner in January, weeks after the resignation of a former commissioner who faces federal corruption charges.
Republican Sen. Nancy Collins of Tupelo says Fisher needs flexibility to manage the prison system, including an easier route to hiring and firing.
Several Democratic senators opposed the bill, saying Fisher can work within existing Personnel Board rules.
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