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Legislative Update: Week Six

Joining Paul Gallo on Supertalk

I had the opportunity to join Paul Gallo on Supertalk Mississippi radio last week. I gave an update on the progress being made in the Senate as well as provided insight into the new Government Structure committee. With roughly $20B flowing through the state each year, there is a lot of room for funds to not be spent in the best possible way. This new committee will look for ways to make our state government more efficient and effective and work better for the people of Mississippi.


You can watch the full interview HERE.


PERS Hearing

Last week, the Senate held a hearing on PERS, the state's retirement system. PERS has been a topic of discussion in the last few years as the system faces increasing fiscal challenges. This will be a top issue facing the legislature this session. As vice chair of Senate Finance, I will work closely with other legislative leaders on crafting smart policies to make PERS work better. Our priority is protecting our promises to retirees & ensuring the long-term health of the system.


Bills I've sponsored

Each year, I sponsor and introduce legislation that I believe will benefit Mississippi and her people. Two bills that I'd like to highlight today are SB 2062 and SB 2125.


SB 2062 will create a task force to study how to best implement artificial intelligence (AI) into our public education system. AI is an emerging technology that is rapidly growing in prevalence across the education, business, and social spectrums. Students and teachers can use AI to enhance the education process to create better outcomes for our students and expose them to technologies that are increasingly prevalent in today’s world.


SB 2125 is a bill that will allow state employees to create health savings accounts (HSAs). HSAs allow employees to divert funds from their income pre-tax into an account that can be used to pay for health-related expenses. Currently, state employees can do this through flex accounts, however, funds not used at the end of each year are lost. With HSAs, funds will continue to roll over each year and be available to employees long term.

 

Update from the Senate

Work continued in the Senate in week six, with the majority occurring in committees. The Senate body took up several resolutions honoring various Mississippi groups and individuals. We were also joined by Vivian O'Neal, who won Miss Mississippi in 2023.


The Senate also began holding budget hearings for state agencies and boards that require legislative appropriations. Mississippi has roughly $20 billion flow through it in a given year, so the appropriations process requires significant time and attention. My priority is ensuring that tax dollars are spent wisely in Mississippi and in ways that best benefit the people of our state.


Senator Chris Johnson and Miss Mississippi Vivian O'Neal

 

I want to hear from you!

Do you have any thoughts about legislation or policy? Let me know! For general thoughts or questions, you can email my senate email: chjohnson@senate.ms.gov. For anything involving the new Government Structure committee, you can email msgovernmentstructure@gmail.com. I am committed to representing the views of you: the people of District 45. Let me know ways I can best do that!





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