Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mississippi SEC Primary Bill Stalls After Senate Fails to Concur with House Amendments

The Mississippi state Senate did not concur with House changes to SB 2531 and invited the House to conference on the legislation. The bill move the Magnolia state presidential primary up a week to join the proposed SEC primary on March 1 next year came up on the Senate concurrence calendar on Wednesday, March 18.

The strange thing about this turn of events is that the House changes to the Senate-passed bill were minor. Even calling them minor is an understatement. Here is the one line the of the bill -- the last line -- that the House altered:
This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2015, and shall stand repealed on June 30, 2015.
That has absolutely nothing to do with the change to the date of the presidential primary in 2016. It has everything to do with the implementation of the bill/law if it passes and is signed.

FHQ has mentioned particular line before. It was added in committee on the Senate side back in February. Go and look at that line again. Yeah, it proposes that the law would take effect on July 1, 2015 and expire on June 30, 2015; the day before the effective date. That would render the bill/law expired before it takes effect. Again, it is likely perhaps that that June date was intended to be in 2016  and that the move up to the first Tuesday in March is a one-off thing for the 2016 cycle. If that is the case, the House and Senate may be at odds on this. Both are supportive of the move to March 1, but only one chamber -- the House -- wants to make that change permanent.

That will make for an interesting conference.

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