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Senate passes house tax credit bill

The Senate last week passed Senate Bill 2139 that will encourage home ownership by offering a $1,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers.

Also passed was Senate Bill 2742 that will allow cities and counties to save money by being able to keep well-maintained fire trucks in service for a longer time than the 10-15 years that they are normally kept before being traded for newer models.

Senate Bill 2127, which I authored, will make the malicious mistreatment or torture an animal a felony crime. A companion measure, Senate Bill 2821, makes it a felony to mistreat, hurt or kill in a malicious manner, any dog or cat.

Senate Bill 2774 will allow the creation of charter schools that will have the freedom to adjust curriculums and teaching methods to boost student academic performance. The schools will be eligible to receive federal funding and will have to show proof of their performance.

Senate Bill 2053 will require drivers to show proof of liability insurance before being able to purchase tags.

Senate Bill 2847 allows universities to pay the travel expenses of potential job candidates in an effort to recruit the best employees possible.

Other bills passed include:

Senate Bill 2032, which I co-authored, will require registered sex offenders to comply with federal law, which includes registering with law enforcement the types of vehicles that they drive.

Senate Bill 2196 seeks to increases safety standards for ATV operators. Among its provisions is requiring users to have drivers license or a certificate from the Cooperative Extension Service proving they have completed a safety training course. The course will cost $25.

Senate Bill 2597 sets criminal penalties for adults who allow minors to consume or possess alcohol at parties held at their homes or elsewhere.

Senate Bill 2287 seeks to allow early release for critically ill non-violent state inmates.

The measure could save the state more than $1 million a year being paid to maintain the health of those inmates.

Senate Bill 2631, which I co-authored, will establish a taskforce to find ways of increasing teacher salaries as a means of recruiting more talented and dedicated classroom instructors. The average starting salary for Mississippi teachers is $30,900.

If I can be of assistance, please call me at 601-359-3244 or e-mail me at bdearing@senate.ms.gov.

Sen. Bob Dearing is a Democrat in the Mississippi Senate representing Adams, Amite, Franklin and Pike counties.

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