HB 1352 (Criminal Justice Reform Act) SUPPORT
Mississippi Senate passed HB 1352 (Criminal Justice Reform Act). This common-sense reform bill is headed to Conference and is one step closer to becoming law.  Mississippi Center for Justice, Empower Mississippi, The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, 2nd Chance MS and others have worked in support of HB 1352. This bill includes provisions  expanding drug courts in Mississippi and reduce barriers to employment for individuals as they leave the state’s prison system.  HB 1352 also expands access to expungements for persons with nonviolent offenses which improves employability upon reentering the community. HB 1352 contains comprehensive and evidence-based solutions to reduce incarceration and recidivism in Mississippi. Call your Representative (click on the link) let them know you support bipartisan common-sense reform measures that reduce recidivism, get people working, and make our communities safe for everyone.  

 Governor Phil Bryant signs HB 1352!


National Association of Social Workers, Mississippi Chapter--Adopted by the Board of Directors on January 20, 2018

The current U.S. health care system is broken.  Despite the advances of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans remain uninsured, and many millions more are underinsured, unable to afford the costs and deductibles associated with adequate health care coverage.  Nowhere is the need for system change greater than in Mississippi, the unhealthiest state in the nation.
The Mississippi Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers believes that it is time to adopt a publicly financed, federally administered single-payer universal health care program that guarantees health care to all citizens, regardless of ability to pay.  The U.S. system presently spends more on health care per person, yet produces poorer results, than any advanced nation in the world.  Mississippians, along with all U.S. citizens, deserve better.

A federally administered single-payer universal program promises multiple advantages over the current system – including administrative simplicity, greater capacity to control costs, more equalized benefits, and enhanced ability to promote prevention over intervention – as well as the most important of all advantages, emphatically prioritizing people over profits.  The time for fundamental reform is now.


Mississippi Legislative Agenda 2019

National Association of Social Workers, Mississippi Chapter

Adopted July 28, 2018, NASW MS Board of Directors


1. We support maintaining our social work licensing law with current language as is.

2. We support maintaining the MS Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists independent from other licensing boards.

3. We support adequate funding for all services that affect the well-being of at-risk population, and increase funding where cuts were made to appropriate levels ensuring proper, effective service delivery. *

4. We support the Mississippi State Health Improvement Plan.*

5. We support a new Mississippi State Flag, such as the Lauren Stennis Mississippi flag. *

6. We support revisions in the Civil Commitment laws for mental health and alcohol & drug abuse as provided by the Mississippi Mental Health Task Force. *


* Indicates connection to NASW National 2018-2019 Social Justice Priorities

 National Association of Social Workers, Mississippi Chapter  2019

* Indicates connection to NASW National 2018-2019 Social Justice Priorities 

Maintain Social Work Licensure with current language in the law.

HB 773: Military education and certifications; require IHL and Occupational Licensing Board (to accept) (Hinds-D) currently reviewing to determine position (support or oppose) DIED IN COMMITTEE

Oppose combining MS Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists with other Boards.

SB 2803:  Combines many licensing boards and commissions under one administration at Dept. of Finance and Administration (Clarke), Passed Senate 51 - 0, Transmitted to House, referred to Appropriations  OPPOSE   DIED IN COMMITTEE

Support MS State Health Improvement Plan.*

HB 253: Vision and Oral Screening in Schools (Hines-D) SUPPORT DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 257: Expand Medicaid (Clark-D) SUPPORT DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 290: Expand Medicaid (Paden-D) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 316: Expand Medicaid, this bill is different from 257 above (Clark-D) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 334: Mental Health Courts - Statewide (Currie-R)  Passed House 116-0, Transmitted to Senate,  SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 542: Contraception with No Copay (Dortch-D) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 584: Extend MQHC Program (Mims-R)  Passed House 114-2, Bomgar-R Criswell-R voted NO, Transmitted to Senate-Passed Senate 51-0, monitoring bill to see next step  SUPPORT Approved by Governor

SB 2064: Medicaid reimbursement to Physicians providing telemedicine medical services to students in a school based setting. (Burton-R)  No position was determined prior to deadline.  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2066: An act to clarify that it is the responsibility of the Division of Medicaid to reimburse services to medicaid-eligible children with an individualized education plan (IEP) provided in a school-based setting and to extend the repealer. (Burton-R)  SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2168: Prohibit state enforcement of "Affordable Care Act". (Watson-R) OPPOSE  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2170: Prohibit use of public funds, grant funds student tuition or fees (Medical school) or use of public facilities for an abortion or for TRAINING to perform an abortion. (Watson-R) OPPOSE  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2213: Implement pilot program regarding an alternative managed care payment model for children with complex medical conditions (CMC) receiving services from UMMC. (Wiggins-R) Passed Senate 50-0, transmitted to House and assigned to Medicaid committee and Appropriations committee.  SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

Support adequate funding for services of at-risk populations and increase funding where cuts were made. *

HB 329: Funding for Mental Health Courts (Currie-R) SUPPORT   Referred to Appropriations Committee.  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 1174: Require MDHS to fully fund Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) State matching requirements to maximize federal CCDF funds available (to the state) (Jackson-D) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2695: Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) require full funding of state match (Blackmon-D) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

Support a change in the current flag of Mississippi.*

HB 15: State Flag Redesign - an act to establish a commission to redesign the Mississippi State Flag (D. Gibbs-D) SUPPORT DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 18: An act to change the official design of the State Flag of Mississippi (Baria-D) SUPPORT DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB  165: Require flying state flag (Shirley-R) OPPOSE DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB  561: Revise State Flag (Sykes-D) SUPPORT DIED IN COMMITTEE

(Other bills involving the MS State Flag 218, 228, 248, 313, 433, 2190) ALL DIED IN COMMITTEE

Support positive revisions in Civil Commitment laws for Mental Health, Alcohol & Drug Abuse.*

SB2328  Forensic Mental Health:  revised statues for mental health and A&D commitment for more uniform process in each county, and training for Clerks involved in process.  SUPPORT  Governor to sign by April 22

Additional Bills of Interest.

HB 88: Mental Health worker pay raise.  (Miles-D) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 94: State employee pay raise.  (Miles-D) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 114: Require persons making neglect or abuse reports to Child Protection Services to provide their name, address and telephone number. (Ladner-R) No position was determined prior to deadline.  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 129: Equal pay for equal work.  (Arnold-R) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 307: Employ Licensed Social Workers and Licensed Psychologists in school districts (Clark-D) No position was determined prior to deadline.  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 387: To repeal section 11-61-1, which is the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act. (Banks-D) SUPPORT DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 460: Sexual Assault Victims' Rights (Hughes-D) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 571: Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children/To clarify that a minor under the age of 18 cannot be charged with crime of prostitution; decriminalize for minors and improve response and support services of government agencies to (children) (Gunn-R, Gibbs 36th-D, Dixon-D, Taylor-D, Patterson-R, Karriem-R, Gibbs 72nd-D, Mickens-D, and Baker-R) Bill passed House 116-0 Transmitted to Senate, passed Senate vote and held on a motion to reconsider, monitoring bill to see next step. SUPPORT Approved by Governor

HB 650: Rape & Domestic Violence Confidentiality (McNeal-R) No position was determined prior to deadline.  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 666: Secure detention; raise minimum age for youth (to go into secure detention, changes current 10 year old minimum age to 12 years old). (Dixon-D, Baria-D, Paden-D, Hines-D) Passed House 114 to 0   Transmitted to Senate,  passed Senate, monitoring bill to see next step.  SUPPORT Vetoed by Governor, House allowed veto to stand

HB 676: Evelyn Gandy Fair Pay Act (Baria-D) SUPPORT DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 714: Department of Human Services & Department of Child Protection Services; extend repealers on exemptions from certain state agency regulations (reduces personnel protections of employees) (White-R) Passed House 78 to 35 with 4 not voting and 2 voting present, transmitted to Senate for action,  passed Senate 30 - 16 and returned to House for concurrence (agreement) Based upon the loss of personnel protection for employees NASW MS Chapter is not in favor of the bill as currently written.  OPPOSE Approved by Governor

HB 1072: Educational Scholarship Accounts (Crawford-R, Criswell-R) OPPOSE  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 1182: Corporal punishment; prohibit use of in public schools to discipline a student with a disability. (Crawford-R) Passed House 114-0, transmitted to Senate,  passed Senate 43 -1, Fillingane voting NO, also seven (7) Senators voted present (Branning, Hill, Jolly, McDaniel, McMahan, Turner-Ford, Watson) NASW MS Chapter monitoring bill to see next step.  SUPPORT Approved by Governor

HB 1300: The sexual assault response act (Cockerham-D). Passed House 115-3, Bomgar-R, Criswell-R, Henley-R voting NO.  Transmitted to Senate.  SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

HB 1352: Criminal Justice Reform Act (White-R, bi-partisan effort) Passed House 110-5 with Corley-R, Currie-R, Ladner-R, Rushing-R, and Wilkes-R all voting NO.  Transmitted to Senate,   passed Senate, monitoring bill to see next step.  SUPPORT Sent to Governor 04/02/19, due from Governor 04/19/19

SB 2014: Domestic abuse; allow protection of pets in a protection order. (Hill-R) Victim advocates state abuse of pets for revenge and to control the other domestic partner is common in domestic violence.   Passed Senate 51-0, transmitted to House and assigned to Judiciary B committee, passed committee.   SUPPORT  DIED on HOUSE CALENDAR

SB 2017: MS Dept of Human Services, extend repealers and for related purposes (Kirby-R)  MS Chapter is currently reviewing this bill in detail to determine a position.  We are studying some key parts of the bill that raise some concerns.   Bill was recommitted to committee. DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2072: PERS retirees can serve in Mississippi State Legislature.  An act to allow PERS retirees to receive state retirement while serving as a member of the Mississippi State Legislature.  (Jolly-R) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2094: Refugee Resettlement; impose civil liability on sponsor organizations under certain circumstances (Watson-R) OPPOSE  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2149: Eliminate death penalty for individuals who are intellectually disabled. (Jackson 11th-D) SUPPORT DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2202: Require all public schools and charter schools to post abuse toll-free hotline information in areas accessible to students. (Hopson-R) SUPPORT  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2252: Require CPS social workers to use video and audio recordings of interactions with foster children and their parents in the investigation of allegations of parental abuse or neglect. (Hill-R) No position was determined prior to deadline.  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2257: An act to authorize and direct the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services (CPS) to privatize or contact with private individuals or a private entity to provide licensed social worker services necessary for the functions of the department; to require legal search and seizure training for social workers providing services to the department. (Hill-R)  OPPOSE  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2406: An act to provide that felonious child abuse is committed when a child tests positive at birth for certain controlled substances that were not prescribed by a physician. (DeBar-R) OPPOSE  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2675: Educational Scholarship Accounts (Tollison-R) Passed Senate 36-12, transmitted to House and assigned to Education committee.  OPPOSE  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 2791: Re-entry and employability; implement mechanisms to provide: Updates drug court statues allowing for additional problem-solving counts, consolidates some expunctments and creates a partiality unified expunction statute (viewed by social justice advocates as improvements) (Barnett-D)  SUPPORT     Passed committee, died on Senate calendar.


Thanks so much to these Mississippi Schools of Social Work for participating with us at

Social Work Advocacy Day at The Mississippi State Capitol:

Table Hosts:

Jackson State University

Mississippi Valley State University

University of Southern Mississippi

Participating Schools:

Belhaven University

Mississippi State University - Meridian

Mississippi State University - Starkville

Rust College

University of Mississippi - virtual participation

We were so pleased to have 245 in attendance at the Progressive Democrats Press Conference, visiting legislators, and flooding the Galleries to observe the Senate and House of Representatives in action wearing our Social Workers Vote stickers! Thanks so much for your advocacy efforts, and remember to continue your advocacy efforts throughout the session!  See below for updated action on specific bills.  

 Stay tuned for more information on next year's scheduled advocacy event!

ACLU 2019 Legislative Focus

Legislative Agenda Link:

Lobby Guide Toolkit: 

 2019 Democrat's Legislative Agenda by Sen. Derrick Simmoms 


Thank you for your support of professional social work in Mississippi! Please contact our office for any information or assistance on social work matters.

     Your Advocacy Team,       

NASW, MS Chapter


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