End of the 2019 Legislative session; what stood out?

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The legislative session is over with the house and senate gaveling out today leaving a stack of bills for the governor‘s signatures

While leadership at the capitol say the election in November didn’t have much of a factor in the legislative session some outsiders say it did.

“It’s an election year and they played close to the vest in a number of things except the fetal heartbeat that plays well I think as it relates in it being an election year, ” said Dr. Stephen Rozman a Political Science professor at Tougaloo College. 

He adds, there were some big wins during the session beginning with rural broadband.

“About 60 percent of people in rural areas don’t have broadband so it’s good to allow the electric cooperatives the ability to provide the broadband,” Rozman said.

The legislature also tackled teacher pay in providing a $1,500 raise.

Teacher advocacy groups lobbied for more.

Rozman said the increase probably won’t impact the upcoming election in a big way. 

“I don’t know if teachers carry that much weight in this state,” he said. “They perhaps should but as far as the elections and electability I don’t think that’s going to be a key issue.”

Rozman adds the ‘land owner protection act’ and the ‘charitable donors’ bill were also notable legislation passed during the session.

Rozman says not all the pressing issues for the state were addressed. 

“A few things positive but I don’t think with all the needs of the state and infrastructure needs and what not I certainly can’t give an ‘A’ or a ‘B’or even a ‘C’ to this legislature,” he said. 

There was also some criminal justice reforms passed through the legislature. 

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