The annual session of the Mississippi Legislature that began in January and ended in April was relatively uneventful, but still some important bills made it through the process.
Some of the laws that will go into effect on today include:
House Bill 995 authorizes Mississippi's four craft distilleries to sell up to 2.25 liters of their products — which adds up to three 750 milliliter bottles — to visitors in a 24-hour period. The distillers can only sell 10 percent annually through direct sales, with the rest distributed by the state's warehouse in Madison to retail stores statewide.
Like the craft brewing industry before its law was passed, Mississippi distillers were limited to giving away only a small amount of free samples to visitors.
HB 1040 mandates that all law enforcement agencies statewide are compliant with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's standards for the National Incident-Based Reporting System. This is an expanded database that helps agencies get a better picture of crime statistics.
House Bill 1122 will prevent local governmental entities from regulating agricultural and forestry activities that are already regulated by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
Senate Bill 2526 requires occupational licensing boards supervised by the Occupational Licensing Review Commission to review their rules every three years to determine whether any rule should be repealed, amended or a new rule adopted. The board would have submit a report of the review to the review commission.
SB 2570 prohibits all local governmental entities from passing California-style bans on plastic bags and other storage containers, such as cups or bottles. The bill doesn't affect recycling programs.
According to stats from this year's session, there were 1,088 bills introduced in the Senate and 155 became law after being signed by Gov. Phil Bryant. In the House, 174 bills out of 1,701 introduced became law. There were 329 bills that became law this session out of 2,789 introduced. Only 11.7 percent of submitted bills became law.
Bryant vetoed four bills this session, including one that would've expanded the amount of time for an active real estate salesperson to earn a broker's license from 12 to 36 months.
Last year, only 10.6 percent of bills introduced (2,854) became law (305).