Parker Bills on DUI, National Guard & Foster Care Pass Senate
JACKSON (February 22, 2017) – Senator David Parker said a number of his priorities for additional DUI reform and measures to benefit the Mississippi National Guard have passed the Senate and are awaiting action in the House of Representatives. A foster care reform bill was folded into another Senate bill and passed as well.
“The Mississippi Senate continues its efforts at strengthening law enforcement and the judicial system to prevent and prosecute DUIs. By bringing together everyone involved in the process from arresting officers to court clerks to those compiling information at the Department of Public Safety, we’re identifying problems and making corrections so repeat offenders don’t slip through the cracks,” Parker said.
- SB2685 passed the Senate on February 8. It makes technical corrections to last year’s DUI reform legislation and expands the DUI Information-Exchange Improvement Advisory Committee. It also contains the language of Parker’s SB2832 which continues the efforts of the Mandatory Statewide Offense Reporting System Task Force.
- Parker also has two appropriations measures pending in the Senate which would aid efforts to fight DUIs: SB2566 which funds an electronic submission of arrest records pilot program; and, SB2754 which funds field sobriety training for law enforcement.
Mississippi National Guard
Last week Parker, who is the Chairman of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs committee, led colleagues on the Senate floor to oppose cuts to the veterans budget and restore funding to necessary levels. “Our state and country made promises to our veterans. Honoring that commitment honors their service,” Parker said. Two bills authored by Parker on military issues passed the Senate.
- SB2544 passed the Senate on February 1. When a disaster hits Mississippi and the National Guard is mobilized, it uses its operating fund to fulfill its missions. Those funds are reimbursed by FEMA or MEMA. But in the months it takes for reimbursement, the National Guard might have to make cuts in operations or delay missions for lack of funding. Parker’s bill would create a Mississippi National Guard State Active Duty Emergency Operations Fund which the Guard could pull funds from during a disaster and later replenish when reimbursed without using operations funds for an emergency.
- SB2620 makes amendments to the Code of Military Justice requested by Mississippi military officials. It passed the Senate on February 2.
Foster Care Reform
Parker worked with Senator Angela Hill to fold the language of his SB2565 into SB2680 which passed the Senate on February 8. This measure would allow custody of a child to be given to “fictive kin” which is someone unrelated to the child legally or biologically but who is considered a relative due to a significant, familial-like and ongoing relationship with the child and family.
Parker explained, “Judges recognize that someone can be a parent without a legal or biological connection to a child. A step-father or step-mother or someone else who hasn’t legally adopted a child, but in the mind of the child is their ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ should be considered by a court for custody or care of a child. This legislation allows for those children to be placed with their ‘parent’ rather than foster care.”
More DeSoto Bills
Parker noted his Senate colleagues from DeSoto County also have a number of issues which have passed the Senate, including the Mississippi Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (SB2311) and a mammography reform bill (SB2006) by Senator Kevin Blackwell; and, a measure allowing supervisors to provide more assistance to fire departments (SB2013) and revisions to the licensing law for residential builders (SB2855) by Senator Chris Massey.
“Senator Blackwell, Senator Massey and I work well together on issues important to DeSoto County and the state of Mississippi,” Parker said. “We often co-author each other’s legislation and work in our respective committees to move legislation forward. I appreciate their work and I believe DeSoto has a unified team in the Senate.”
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