House passes ESA extension bill, Hemp Cultivation Act

The Mississippi House of Representative gaveled in this morning and hit the ground running, passing several key bills. 

Following Tuesday’s deadline, the House took up bills that originated in the Senate. Among them was SB 2594, a bill to extend Mississippi’s ‘Education Scholarship Account Program.’ Established in 2015, the program provides scholarships of up to $6,765 to parents of students with disabilities who want to remove their child from a public school to seek educational services elsewhere.

The bill, extending the program till 2024, passed the House by a 72-37 margin and will likely head to the Governor’s desk, although it is currently being held on a motion to reconsider.

The House also passed SB 2752, otherwise known as the ‘Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act.’

According to the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the bill paves the way for Mississippi to become the 48th state to legalize the cultivation of hemp. The bill was introduced following recommendations made to lawmakers by the Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Task Force, chaired by Ag Commissioner Andy Gipson, back in November 2019. 

The bill passed by a 105-9 margin. Because an amendment was adopted by the House Agriculture Committee, the bill will head back over the Senate where they can either concur on the amendment or invite conference on the bill.