School bus safety, public records addressed

Published 12:02 am Monday, March 17, 2014

Last week, we passed House Bill 72 that will require all school buses be marked with identifying language in a bid to improve school child safety.

We also passed House Bill 928 that will ensure public records costs are kept reasonable and are not inflated. In keeping with our pledge to keep government transparent, it provides a civil penalty for violations.

House Bill 1318 authorizes the state auditor to review state funded economic development projects, and it allows the office to recoup up to $100,000 in auditing/investigative costs if need be.

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The passage of House Bill 765 creates a scholarship program for special needs students that would follow them throughout the educational process.

The money, nearly $6,000 a year, could pay private school tuition and go toward the cost of therapy.

House Bill 432 authorizes the teaching of CPR and AED to students grade 9-12 by the Red Cross and the American Heart Association.

This could be a life-saving measure.

Other bills passed included:

-House Bill 273 that gives public defenders supervisory authority over their employees.

-House Bill 454 that removed state Department of Education employees from the protection of the state Personnel Board.

-House Bill 762 would require officers arresting persons for domestic violence to check their criminal status with the Mississippi Protective Order Registry.

-House Bill 558 sets the stage for county supervisors to give themselves raises.

-House Bill 1409 increases the salaries of sheriffs statewide.

-House Bill 749 allocates $1.5 million for a strike force that would battle crime in hot spots across the state under the supervision of Attorney General Jim Hood.

-House Bill 49 would establish a drug testing/treatment program for TANF recipients. It would not affect current users of the program


Kelvin E. Butler is senator of the 38th District and serves portions of Adams, Amite, Pike, Walthall and Wilkinson counties.