The 2020 Mississippi Legislative Session kicked off this month with an array of new faces in statewide positions and across the House of Representatives and Senate floors.
Since the beginning of the month, the following state-wide elected officials were sworn in to office.
- Governor – Tate Reeves *
- Lieutenant Governor – Delbert Hosemann *
- Attorney General – Lynn Fitch *
- Treasurer – David McRae *
- Secretary of State – Michael Watson *
- Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce – Andy Gipson
- Commissioner of Insurance – Mike Chaney
- Auditor – Shad White
- Northern Public Service Commissioner – Brandon Presley
- Central Public Service Commissioner – Brent Bailey *
- Southern Public Service Commissioner – Dane Maxwell *
- Northern Transportation Commissioner – John Caldwell *
- Central Transportation Commissioner – Willie Simmons *
- Southern Transportation Commissioner – Tom King
*Indicates officials newly-elected to their positions
“My staff and I are extremely excited to begin working with all of the newly elected and incumbent statewide officials to help our Mississippi farmers and ranchers,” Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Mike McCormick said. “I congratulate all of them on their new positions.”
The Mississippi Legislature welcomed 25 new representatives and 14 new senators. Despite having so many new members, both sides of the Legislature set to work establishing rules for the next four years, as well as appointing members to leadership roles.
The Senate unanimously elected Dean Kirby as the new President Pro Tempore and appointed Buck Clarke as Secretary of the Senate. Chuck Younger was appointed Chairman of the Agriculture Committee and Ben Suber was appointed Vice Chairman.
The House unanimously re-elected Phillip Gunn as its Speaker and Jason White as the Speaker Pro Tempore. Chairman Bill Pigott and Vice Chairman Vince Mangold retained their positions on the House Agriculture Committee.
As their first order of business, the Legislature worked to pass a spending bill that would correct an error in a bill passed during the 2019 Legislative Session pertaining to teacher pay raises. The bill passed the House, the Senate and was then signed by Reeves in the first two weeks of the session.
“We appreciate the House, Senate and Governor Reeves working quickly to correct this funding error in calculating the teacher pay raise during the 2019 Legislative Session,” McCormick said. “Their dedication to the people of Mississippi shows.”
McCormick, along with MFBF staff, are committed to making the wants of MFBF members known throughout the 2020 Legislative Session. MFBF will focus on the following issues during the 2020 Legislative Session.
- Livestock Liability – MFBF will support legislation that will conform the burden of proof regarding livestock liability to match the law of other states.
- Uniform Partition of Heirs’ Property Act – MFBF will support legislation that will allow owners of heirs’ property to participate in USDA and FSA programs through the 2018 Farm Bill.
- Agricultural Units and Land Grant University Funding – MFBF will support legislation that will fund Mississippi State University and Alcorn State University’s agricultural units.
- Future of Mississippi Agriculture Bill – MFBF will support the Mississippi Department of Agriculture’s Future of Mississippi Agriculture Bill that funds their department.
- Tax Cards – MFBF will support legislations that develops tax cards for farmers to carry with their sales tax rate.