Governor Phil Bryant Vetoes Four Bills
JACKSON—Gov. Phil Bryant has vetoed the following four bills:
· House Bill 1047: includes legally problematic changes to the Tort Claims Act;
· Senate Bill 2161: does not require ending Common Core in Mississippi;
· Senate Bill 2269: reduces public transparency regarding Mississippi Coast Coliseum contracting activities;
· Senate Bill 2370: duplicates language and duties regarding two Medicaid committees.
House Bill 1047
House Bill 1047 includes legally problematic changes to the Tort Claims Act. The bill would grant protection to members of specifically named government boards which, in turn, could support a legal argument that members serving on government boards already covered under the Tort Claims Act but that are not specifically named do not have legal tort protection.
Senate Bill 2161
Senate Bill 2161 is thought to be a vehicle to end Common Core in Mississippi, but the bill does not provide that guarantee.
“I remain firmly committed to ending Common Core in Mississippi,” Gov. Bryant said. “This bill does not accomplish that goal, and I cannot in good conscience sign it into law.”
The language of the final bill does not task the Board of Education or the Department of Education with ending Common Core in Mississippi or developing new Mississippi-based standards for public school students.
The original version of the bill provided a clear end to Common Core by instructing the Mississippi Board of Education to adopt and implement new standards and to take no further action in implementing Common Core standards.
The final bill creates a study committee to address Common Core standards but does not require the Mississippi Board of Education to consider or adopt any of the study committee’s recommendations. The House of Representatives in an earlier version of the bill had inserted language to require the Board of Education to accept at least 75 percent of the study committee’s recommendations.
“Over the past several years, Mississippians’ concern about Common Core has increased steadily. Parents have strongly expressed their dissatisfaction with a system many feel replaces their right to a voice in the education of their children with a centralized, top-down approach that cedes an uncomfortable amount of influence to a federal agenda,” Gov. Phil Bryant said.
“This bill provides no requirement that the Mississippi Board of Education or the Mississippi Department of Education must do anything to abandon Common Core.”
“Had the Legislature maintained the original intent of Senate Bill 2161 as authored by Sen. Videt Carmichael, I would have quickly signed it into law without reservation and announced that Mississippi was ending Common Core and replacing it with standards developed by Mississippians for Mississippians.”
Senate Bill 2269
Senate Bill 2269 would grant more local control over the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, which is a publicly governed entity. However, the bill also includes language that decreases transparency requirements related to coliseum contracts by changing a previous legal requirement that information regarding contracts be publicly published in a local newspaper.
Senate Bill 2370
Senate Bill 2370 duplicates language about the frequency of meetings conducted by the Medicaid Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. That issue is addressed in House Bill 545, which has already been signed into law. The law specifies that the committee may meet as needed.
Senate Bill 2370 also assigns new duties to the Medicaid Medical Care Advisory Committee, which is a committee required by federal regulation to advise the Division of Medicaid about health and medical care services. The Division of Medicaid already has the authority to address the duties Senate Bill 2370 would assign to the Medical Care Advisory Committee.