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Legislative Update: Week Nine

Meeting Blues Legend Bobby Rush

You never know who you're going to run into at the Mississippi Capitol! The Legislature was visited last week by Bobby Rush. Bobby is a three-time Grammy Award winning blues singer who moved to Mississippi in the 1980's, where he furthered his legacy in the music business. It was great having the opportunity to talk with him about music, legislation, and life in Jackson. If you're not familiar with him, be sure to check out his story and music.

Senator Chris Johnson with Bobby Rush and Senators Hopson, Blount, and Norwood

MidDays with Gerard Gibert on Thursday

This Thursday, March 7, at noon, I'll be going live on MidDays with Gerard Gibert to talk about some of the important legislation the Senate is working on this year. This session is shaping up to be extraordinarily impactful, and there's a lot to discuss. If you're free at noon on Thursday, you can listen to the interview on the radio at 97.3, or watch the livestream at THIS LINK.

Senate work continues

The Senate last week conducted the majority of its work in committees, facing a Tuesday, March 5, deadline to pass legislation out of committees. Government Structure, the newly-formed Senate committee which I chair, met last week and passed several pieces of legislation that will go on to be considered by the full Senate. Much of the legislation that makes its way through this committee is technical in nature, but can have a big impact on functions of state government.

One of the bills I sponsored, SB 2486, passed out of the Government Structure committee last week. This bill revises and simplifies the processes around Requests for Proposal (RFPs) and Requests for Qualifications (RFQs). Each year, various state agencies bid out certain functions to private sector entities, such as MDOT bidding out different roadbuilding projects. This bill will make it easier for the state AND the applying organization to work through this process.

I'm pleased with the work this committee has done so far in its first year, and I look forward to seeing which bills we will take up from the House in the coming weeks.

Several of the bills passed on the Senate floor dealt with healthcare. We concurred on HB 539, which gives presumptive eligibility for Medicaid services to lower-income pregnant women. SB 2851 allows Mississippi Farm Bureau to create their own health insurance program for their members.

After tomorrow's deadline, the Senate will spend a considerable amount of its time over the next couple weeks taking up legislation passed out of committees. All Senate general bills must be passed and sent to the House by March 14.

I want to hear from you!

I want to make sure I'm doing the best job I can to represent the views of District 45. If you have any thoughts or concerns about legislation or policy, let me know! For general thoughts or questions, you can email my senate email: For anything involving the new Government Structure committee, you can email I would love to talk with you about issues that directly affect you, and emailing me is the best way I can do that.

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