Representative Hood gives an update on latest on House

The House was a different place this week. By Friday of last week, 218 bills remained on the calendar as the March 3 deadline loomed. But on Monday, business resumed as usual, and House members addressed 90 bills on its calendar. Debates occurred, and no one made requests to read the bills. Some of the pieces of legislation discussed this week include:
Hunting and Fishing License Increase
House Bill 1151 increases the combination Hunting and Fishing license fee from $17 to $25, Small Game license from $8 to $10, and Sportsmen License from $32 to $45. However, the license fee increases do not go into effect until the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks increases the fees on nonresidents. The bill passed by a vote of 82-39. I voted against the bill.

Second Amendment
House Bill 782 prohibits the enforcement of executive orders relating to firearms. Supporters of the legislation argue that state officials will not be unconstitutionally forced to enforce a federal law that violates the second amendment rights of Mississippians. Opponents argue that executive orders have the full force of the law. The bill passed by a vote of 75-46. I voted for the bill.

House Bill 571 clarifies the meaning of courthouse and courtroom for the purpose of carrying firearms. Currently, people with enhanced conceal carry licenses can carry in any location except in a courtroom within a courthouse when a proceeding is in session. A courtroom is defined as the actual room in which judicial proceedings occurs and includes jury rooms, witness rooms, judge’s rooms and office rooms. Supporters of the measure believe this legislation simply explains the definition. The bill passed by a vote of 78-42. I voted for the bill.

Vaccinations
House Bill 938 authorizes medical exemptions for vaccinations. Current law permits physicians to exempt children from vaccines if they pose a risk to the child’s health. However, the Department of Health approves or denies these exemptions. HB938 removes the Department of Health from the process as long as a licensed medical doctor examines the child and recommends a medical exemption for vaccination. The bill passed by a vote of 65-54. I voted for the bill.

Election Reform
House Bill 809 authorizes online voter registration under the authority of the Secretary of State. House Bill 796 allows pre-election day voting. The measure creates a 14-day period before Election Day when voters can cast permanent ballots on voting machines at the Circuit Clerk’s Office. I voted for the bills.

I would like to thank the people of District 35 for allowing me the opportunity to serve. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. You can contact me at the Capitol at P. O. Box 1018, Jackson, Mississippi 39215 or call (601) 359-3339. You may also email me at jhood@house.ms.gov or visit my website at www.joeyhoodmississippi.com.