Mississippi Legislature: 2021 Session

By Jeff Wagner, Shareholder
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C.

The next regular session of the Mississippi Legislature convenes January 5, 2021.  The session is scheduled for 90 days with an anticipated closing date (sine die) of April 5, 2020.  Absent a significant uptick in COVID cases, I would not expect the 2021 session to be extended through the summer and into the fall as happened with the 2020 session.

The Mississippi Airports Association (through the Board of Directors) monitors legislation of interest to airports in the state each year and, when appropriate, will take a position on proposed legislation with the Legislature or will propose legislation to the Legislature.  For various reasons, however, the Association may not be able to take a position on proposed legislation.  Regardless whether the Association has or is able to take a position on particular legislation, each airport operator in the state should feel free to contact members of the Legislature on issues important to that airport.  Although I would suggest starting with your local representatives and senators, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to other key legislators such as the chair of the committee(s) that will be reviewing a particular bill.

To assist in that regard, the following are some links to information regarding the Legislature and legislative process (all available through the Legislature’s website here):

  • The Legislature’s calendar of deadlines can be found here. Note, the deadline for introduction of new bills that are not revenue bills, appropriation bills or local and private legislation is January 14, 2020.  Daily schedules are available here.
  • Contact information for members of the House can be found here, and contact information for members of the Senate can be found here.
  • Text of individual bills can be found through a number of different searches available here. If you know a bill number, it is usually easiest to use “Select a Measure.”  If looking for bills that affect particular sections of existing law (such as looking for proposed changes to the general procurement statute, Miss. Code. Ann. §31-7-13), it may be easiest to use “Select by Code Section.”  If you want to run a search for bills relating to a specific issue, it may be necessary to run a text search.  Please note that the text search function uses Boolean operators that are different from “common language” searches used in most web search tools such as Google.  Some general guidance is provided on the use of these operators.  If you just want to scan all bills, you can either look through “All Measures” introduced or “All Measures (Not Dead).”  Because the majority of bills die without any action by the Legislature, the latter makes it easier to negotiate through the bills that may become law as the session progresses.  Other searches available include searches by author or bills assigned to a committee.
  • Once a bill of interest has been identified or located, you can download or print a copy of the bill, find its current status and locate any amendments that were offered during the deliberative process.

As always, I will be providing a legislative update in the next quarterly newsletter and at the Association’s Annual Conference in April.

Jeff Wagner is a shareholder in the Jackson, Mississippi, office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., and may be reached at 601-973-3610 or by email at jwagner@bakerdonelson.com.