The 2017 Mississippi Legislative Session has adjourned Sine Die, ending all regular business for the year.
While the House and Senate have gaveled in and out for the final daily time this session, they will now sit on hold from home, awaiting a call from Governor Phil Bryant to call a special session.
A special session is required in order to pass the appropriation bills for the Mississippi Department of Transportation and Attorney General Jim Hood’s office.
There has been no word from the Governor’s office yet as to when a special session could be called, however, action must be taken by July 1, or the start of the new fiscal year.
“He may not call a session tomorrow,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “But he will call it, and could call it June 28 and us be there for two days.”
Senate Appropriations Chair Buck Clarke said the governor will not allow July 1 to get here without MDOT and the Attorney General having their funding.
“Even if there’s no agreement on how to fund roads and bridges,” said Clarke. “We will fund those agencies.”
Many times, the discussion of changing the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula, which funds public education kindergarten through 12th grade, was said to lead to a special session.
The bills that would have allowed for discussion during the regular session died in committee. House Ways and Means Chair Jeff Smith said education funding may be brought up in the special session, but there’s no guarantee.
“It’s a possible maybe,” said Smith. “But the governor is smart enough not to bring a topic into special session where there is not an agreement for reform.”
Smith said the House and Senate have not reached an agreement on the language that would replace the current MAEP formula with a weighted student formula, as suggested by Edbuild.
News Mississippi will continue to follow the upcoming special session.