Mississippi enacts new laws on teacher pay, criminal justice

The star marks Mississippi's capital city, Jackson.

Several new laws take effect on Monday, July 1 in Mississippi.

Posted: Jul 1, 2019 10:51 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Several new laws take effect Monday in Mississippi, including one that gives a pay raise to teachers and two that are designed to ease burdens on people who face court fines or who are trying to find jobs after having a criminal conviction.

Here are some of the measures passed by the Legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE — House Bill 1352 eases penalties on some Mississippians accused or convicted of crimes. It stops automatic suspension of driver's licenses for nonpayment of fines or for simple drug possession. It also creates "intervention courts" to handle cases involving veterans, drugs and mental health issues.

JOB LICENSING — Senate Bill 2781, named the "Fresh Start Act of 2019," says a criminal conviction does not disqualify people from receiving a job license unless the conviction was directly related to the job for which the license is required. Groups that issue job licenses are banned from using phrases such as "moral turpitude."

TEACHER PAY — Senate Bill 2770 authorizes a $1,500 pay raise for teachers.

PROPERTY OWNER LIABILITY — Senate Bill 2901, called the "Landowners Protection Act," says that anyone who owns, leases, operates, or maintains a commercial property in Mississippi will not be liable for any injury on the property caused by another person, unless the person in charge of the property did something that "impelled" the harmful action. Supporters say the new law will provide financial protection for property owners or managers, while critics say it could lead to negligence.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS — House Bill 571 prevents charges from being filed against trafficking victims who are younger than 18. The minor would be taken into protective custody and counseling would be provided. Foster parents would be trained to help trafficking victims.

MARRIAGE LICENSES — Senate Bill 2043 increases the cost of a marriage license from $20 to $35.

TERROR THREATS — Senate Bill 2141 creates a new felony of making a terrorist threat. It is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

GUNS IN COURTHOUSES — House Bill 1581 clarifies an existing law about guns in courthouses to say that guns may be banned in courtrooms, jury rooms, witness rooms and judges' chambers but may not be banned in hallways, courthouse grounds or other areas in or around a courthouse that are generally open to the public.

CHURCH PROTECTION — House Bill 390 says retired law enforcement officers may work in security for churches or other houses of worship and may be immune from civil lawsuits in that role.

SCHOOL SAFETY — House Bill 1283 would require public schools to conduct active-shooter drills.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT — House Bill 1182 bans corporal punishment for any student who has a disability or a special-education plan.

COUNTY OFFICIALS' PAY — Senate Bill 2827 creates a task force to study salaries of county officials and to make long-term recommendations. This part of the law takes effect July 1. Other parts of the same law will authorize pay raises for county supervisors, chancery clerks, circuit clerks, tax collectors, tax assessors and other county officials, beginning in January.

VEHICLE SALES TAX — Senate Bill 2229 says no sales tax is charged when a vehicle is sold from one sibling to another.

ISRAEL — House Bill 761 bans the state of Mississippi from investing in companies that boycott Israel.

Law that is blocked:

ABORTION — Senate Bill 2116 would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is at about six weeks, before some women might know they are pregnant. A federal judge has temporarily blocked the law from taking effect July 1, although the state is appealing that decision.

Law that has already taken effect:

MOVIE INCENTIVES — Senate Bill 2603 extends a program that allows Mississippi to offer rebates to motion picture production companies that work in the state. It became law when it was signed in April.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93087

Reported Deaths: 2809
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6956155
DeSoto539355
Harrison372772
Jackson337867
Madison320086
Rankin318875
Lee258567
Jones239978
Forrest238270
Washington217471
Lafayette207239
Lauderdale1994124
Bolivar179065
Oktibbeha174750
Lamar162134
Neshoba1534103
Panola144027
Sunflower141144
Lowndes139857
Warren138050
Leflore136280
Pontotoc122516
Pike120948
Monroe118365
Scott116125
Copiah115933
Coahoma112327
Holmes109158
Marshall107515
Lincoln106253
Grenada105335
Yazoo103629
Simpson101243
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91736
Wayne87421
Pearl River86250
Marion84133
Prentiss80817
Covington80622
Alcorn76811
Newton75623
Itawamba75221
Tallahatchie74918
George74413
Winston72319
Tishomingo65737
Chickasaw65224
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57117
Hancock56121
Jasper54915
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52114
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45420
Claiborne45116
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41614
Perry40617
Humphreys37315
Quitman3735
Stone35011
Greene34317
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Amite31210
Carroll31212
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2399
Benton2181
Franklin1893
Choctaw1785
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18911337
Mobile13039289
Montgomery8628173
Madison750775
Tuscaloosa7180114
Lee570559
Shelby564550
Baldwin504749
Marshall382143
Etowah333447
Calhoun332039
Morgan318126
Houston269922
Elmore251947
DeKalb234619
St. Clair221335
Walker220780
Talladega205026
Limestone197319
Cullman183017
Franklin174128
Dallas173626
Russell17112
Autauga167324
Lauderdale164133
Colbert159326
Escambia155725
Blount154214
Jackson149411
Chilton147127
Dale132743
Covington130227
Coffee12708
Pike11519
Tallapoosa113183
Chambers112342
Clarke104917
Marion93728
Butler90838
Barbour8307
Marengo69919
Winston69912
Lowndes64527
Pickens63114
Bibb62810
Hale61228
Randolph60712
Bullock58514
Lawrence58220
Monroe5758
Geneva5634
Cherokee55516
Washington54413
Perry5376
Clay5367
Wilcox53011
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52231
Macon47620
Henry4674
Fayette4189
Sumter41819
Lamar3452
Choctaw34412
Cleburne3206
Greene30015
Coosa1613
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