A passion project for local lawmaker Nick Bain has cleared both chambers of state government and is headed to the governor to sign into law.
House Bill 196 authored by the Republican House of Representatives member from Corinth is the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act and will give more rights to Mississippi women who are pregnant or give birth while in jail or prison.
The pro-life measure states leg restraints and handcuffs can not be used on an inmate who is pregnant or in labor unless a jail or prison employee believes she may harm herself, the fetus or any other person, or unless she is believed to be a flight risk.
“This is an extremely important pro-life bill that helps protect our unborn and is truly one of the highlights of my career,” said Bain. “For this bill to advance in the House and Senate without a single dissenting vote shows what an huge step this is for women’s rights and the health and safety of young mothers and their children.”
The bill protects pregnant inmates by ensuring they are provided proper nutrition and dietary supplements, and they may not be assigned to upper-level bunk beds.
After an inmate gives birth, the baby can remain with her for three days according to the bill. The practice now is to immediately take the baby out of the jail or prison.
Senate Bill 2119 has now passed both the Senate and House and heads to the governor.
The bill seeks to make it easier for Mississippians to purchase drugs with pseudoephedrine as an ingredient. These would include over-the-counter common cold drugs like Suphedrine and Sudafed. These drugs treat stuffy nose and sinus issues.
A law passed more than 10 years ago forced the removal of the ingredient from such drugs because of it’s use when making meth.
The bill sets boundaries for how much a person can purchase and uses the National Precursor Log Exchange system to track purchases.
Pharmacies will be able to sell a person, without a prescription, products containing not more than 3.6 grams per day and not more than 7.2 grams per 30-day period.
SB 2727 was rejected by House members on Tuesday.
The bill which is now dead would have restructured the board that governs the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
Established in 1902, the nine-member board has always been nominated by their own successors with the Senate confirming the members, but this bill said the Archives and History board could recommend nominees, but the governor or lieutenant governor could ignore those recommendations and nominate any person they want. The nominees would still need Senate confirmation.
The bill had passed the Senate chamber, but failed in the House.
(Capitol Connections by Daily Corinthian staff writer Zack Steen appears during the Mississippi Legislative session and includes news and notes from local lawmakers.)