Two amendments were made to the bill in the Senate. HB 1020 will now move back to House for representatives to consider the changes.
The first amendment has to deal with the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Jackson and the Department of Public Safety over the jurisdiction of Capitol police. The Senate’s version of the bill widens the jurisdiction to the entire City of Jackson, and it now gives the city the option to sign a MOU.
Whether an MOU is entered will not determine the future jurisdiction of Capital police. If the bill is made law, Capitol police will have concurrent jurisdiction with the Jackson Police Department (JPD).
The second amendment removed a section in the bill allocating funds to the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office for two more assistant district attorneys. The amendment designates funds go to the crime lab instead.
The bill’s author, Rep. Trey Lamar (R-District 8), said he’s ready to work with the Senate because the bill will likely head to conference. He also shed some light on how the governor feels about this developing legislation.
“We look forward to working with the Senate through the conference process, which I do believe the bill will end up in conference and hopefully soon, within the next week or two. I’d love to have a final product that we can present to the body. We have met, and the governor is, like I think most everybody here, including Republicans and Democrats, regardless or in spite of what the national news is portraying, are in lockstep that we’d like to see a safer capital city,” said Lamar.
Movement could be seen on who will makeup these conferences as soon as this week. Speaker of the House Philip Gunn will pick three conferees from the House, and Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann will pick three from the Senate.