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Consolidation bill passes Senate, moves to House
by Amanda Sexton Ferguson, Editor and Publisher
Feb 20, 2014 | 178 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSON - Efforts to consolidate Montgomery County School District and Winona Separate School District are one step closer as the senate's consolidation bill passed the full senate

Senate Bill 2620, which would consolidate Winona Separate School District and Montgomery County School District, was passed last Thursday after a 35 to 15 vote by the Mississippi Senate.

Senators representing Montgomery County, Lydia Chassaniol (R-Winona) and Gary Jackson (R-French Camp), both voted against the measure.

According to Chassaniol, after it was passed by the Senate, S.B. 2620 has been sent to the Mississippi House of Representatives for further consideration. It is currently being debated in the House's Education Committee.

To become law, S.B. 2620 will have to be passed by a majority of the House of Representatives and signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant.

According to S.B. 2620 proposes an administrative consolidation of the two school districts with a central administrative office to be located in Winona, effective July 1, 2016.

As amended in the Senate, the school board would be made up of both appointed and elected members. The five member board will be comprised of five members: Three appointed by the Winona Board of Aldermen and two elected for a term of four years by the voters of Montgomery County living outside the Winona corporate limits in a November 2015 special election.

All real and personal property of each district should be transferred to the newly-created Montgomery-Winona Consolidated School District.

As for the district's leadership, the bill proposes that the district's board of trustees will appoint a superintendent, and there will be a limit of three assistant superintendents in the district.

By Lydia Chassaniol

State Senator

This week we passed Senate Bill 2394 that will allow corporations to purchase up to 160 acres of tax forfeited lands for their own purposes. This law could be a catalyst that helps cities revitalize dilapidated areas that otherwise might remain eyesores and pull down surrounding real estate values.

Another law that could help cities is Senate Bill 2771 that would force the operators of personal care homes housing more than three unrelated persons to be registered. The provision would ensure that the facilities, often located in single family residential zones, do not detract from the area and that they are open to inspection.

Also passed were:

• Senate Bill 2554 will allow certain Greenwood businesses to sell alcoholic beverages at events in order to earn a profit.

• Senate Bill 2026 will create a centralized filing system for tax liens from each county with the Department of Revenue.

• Senate Bill 2503 renewing the moratorium on the purchase of non-essential vehicles by state agencies. In 2012, a similar moratorium saved taxpayers $9.9 million.

• Senate Bill 2448 that consolidates the Greenwood and Leflore County school districts to improve student performance and make operations more efficient. The plan is for conservators to correct the failing district by 2016. Future board members will be elected instead of appointed.

• Senate Bill 2430, Katie's Law, will allow collection of DNA on certain felony arrests as a means of solving more crimes.

• Senate Bill 2507 will allow the Ethics Commission to ensure that public records requests are honored in a timely manner.

• Senate Bill 2477 ensures that daycare centers are licensed and comply with new state Department of Health guidelines. It grandfathers in those existing before the new regulations take effect.

• Senate Bill 2641 creates the Commission on Transportation Infrastructure Funding that will look into ways to finance critical highway construction and repairs.

• Senate Bill 2090 gives school districts the flexibility of paying bus drivers, janitors and other non-licensed personnel on a bi-monthly basis.

• Senate Bill 2563 urges community colleges, universities, the Community College Board and the Institutions of Higher Learning, to create a plan to combat teenage pregnancy, which has caused some students to drop out of school once they enrolled.

• Senate Bill 2571 will allow local school districts to choose when children begin classes.

• Senate Bill 2478 reduces fees for renewing concealed carry permits and renewals and waives fees completely for active duty military personnel.

. Surrendering their rights under federal labor law. It also prohibits forcing employees into neutrality agreements, card check agreements and collective bargaining recognition.

" Senate Bill 2653 prevents an organized effort to use picketing or objects, such as vehicle, to block a business' sidewalk, entrance or exit, as well as private residences, as part of an effort in a labor dispute.

" Senate Bill 2689 ensures employers may continue to inquire about criminal history in background checks so employers can maintain a safe workplace.

" Senate Bill 2797 prevents cities and counties from using ordinances, zoning, licensure or conditions of a procurement to force employers to use organized labor.

If I can assist you in any way, please call me at 601-359-3246 or email me at lchassaniol@senate.ms.gov.

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