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Mississippi Legislators Moving Through Non-Controversial Bills

By Daniel Cherry | Published 07 Feb 2013 09:33pm | comments
Mississippi lawmakers are quickly moving through bills in the 2013 session. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, many of the measures focus on changes to education.
 
The Mississippi House of Representatives passed 91 bills yesterday as they flew through what's known as the "non-controversial" calendar. There's a similar situation over in the Senate as lawmakers quickly took up and voted on more than 60 bills with majority support.
One bill that passed with overwhelming support is a measure meant to make it legal for students to pray before public school groups. Johnny Brekeen from Jayess came to support the bill.
 
"Not necessarily religion but freedom of speech and for people to be able to stand up, if they believe in Jesus, should be able to stand up and say, 'Hey. I believe in Jesus.'"
 
The lone no vote was from Senator Deborah Dawkins, a Democrat from Harrison County.
 
"(It's) another avenue for children to pick on each other over something that makes them slightly different. It's a bad idea. It's a bad idea to legislate, but nobody wants to look like an atheist, and I'm not one."
 
Another bill moving out of the Senate is aimed at tougher reading standards for third grade students. Angela Hill of Picayune wrote the bill.
 
"What my bill does, it prescribes literacy intervention beginning in Kindergarten. So hopefully by the time those student reach the 3rd grade, those students who were deficient in reading would already be identified in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd grade before they even reach 3rd grade."
 
Other measures focused on funding for Pre-K education, legalization of home brewed beer, and tuition breaks for out of state community college students.

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