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Several new Mississippi laws going into effect on July 1

Several new laws are set to go in effect throughout the Magnolia State on Thursday, July 1, as...
Several new laws are set to go in effect throughout the Magnolia State on Thursday, July 1, as the new fiscal year in Mississippi begins.(Pexels)
Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 2:32 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - Several new laws went into effect Thursday in Mississippi as the Magnolia State began its new fiscal year. Here is a preview of some of the more notable new laws.

Teacher Pay Raise

House Bill 852 would give assistant teachers and certified teachers with more than three years’ experience a salary increase of $1,000, while teachers with three or fewer years of experience will receive a pay raise of $1,100. On top of the rising salaries, the starting pay for new teachers is increasing to $37,000.

Occupational Licensing Recognition

H.B. 1263 will mandate that the state recognize occupational licenses from other states. Under the measure, individuals who move into Mississippi who have a license, permit, certificate or other registration in good standing with another state will be able to receive an equivalent license to practice here. The individual must apply for the state license and must have had a license in another state for at least one year. The measure does not apply to privilege licenses.

Earned Parole Eligibility

Senate Bill 2795 opening up more opportunities for inmates in Mississippi to receive parole. The new law says that for crimes committed after June 30, 1995, a person would have to serve at least 25% or 10 years before eligibility. The bill would make those convicted of armed robbery parole eligible after serving 60% of their sentence or 25 years, whichever is less. Currently, armed robbers convicted after 1995 are not eligible for parole. In addition, those convicted of car-jacking and drive-by shootings would have the same parole eligibility standards. The new bill does not include habitual offenders, sex offenders older than 18, capital offenders, first- or second-degree murderers, human traffickers, drug traffickers or parole offenders.

Alcohol Delivery

H.B. 1135 will allow home delivery of liquor, beer, wine or light spirits from local package stores or retailers. Buyers will have to prove they are at least 21 and delivery people will have to be at least that old.

Deliveries cannot be made to any person who “appears intoxicated.” Deliveries also cannot be made to dry counties or cities.

The bill specifies that alcohol may only be delivered within 30 miles of the store selling it.

Teacher License Reciprocity

S.B. 2267 will require the Mississippi Department of Education to issue a license to any teacher who has a valid out-of-state license within 14 days of receiving their application. Teachers receiving reciprocity would still be subject to a background check before being hired by a district under a separate statute. The bill also implements the creation of a licensing and certification committee that will assist in streamlining the process for teacher certification in the state.

MAEP Calculations

S.B. 2149 will allow school districts to use the daily average attendance numbers from the 2019-2020 school year to calculate Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding instead of using the attendance records from the 2020-2021 school year. Mississippi’s MAEP funding formula is calculated in part by daily attendance. Due to the pandemic, daily attendance was unpredictable for much of the 2020-2021 school year.

Mississippi Fairness Act

S.B. 2536 will require any public institution to designate its athletic teams according to the biological gender of its players. As written, the act would not allow athletic teams designated for females, women or girls to be open to students of the male sex. If disputed, the student could establish their sex by presenting a physician’s statement which would have indicated their sex based upon the student’s external reproductive anatomy, their “normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone” and an analysis of the student’s genetic makeup.

NCAA Athletes’ Image, Name, Likeness

S.B. 2313 will allow Mississippi collegiate athletes to receive compensation if their image, name or likeness is used in advertising. All eight of Mississippi’s public universities and the state College Board supported the proposal, which officials said will help the schools compete for talent.

Executive Sessions for Public Bodies

H.B. 1323 will allow any public body to enter into executive session in order to develop a strategic plan to combat, eliminate, reduce or respond to human trafficking or the commercial sexual exploitation of children when the public body is addressing a particular trafficking issue and needing to have an immediate solution.

Election Qualifying

H.B. 1048 will revise the qualifying deadline for state and county elected officials.

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