2024 Legislative Session Updates

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Welcome to the Mississippi Early Learning Alliance’s (MELA) first Legislative Update! The following information contains current MELA’s coverage on what’s happening in the Mississippi Legislature related to prenatal-to-3 issues including: early care and education; early childhood health and development; prenatal care and birth; and early childhood and systems funding and governance. As we continue to advocate for systems change to improve early learning and child development outcomes in our state, we will also identify ways in which you can encourage legislators to understand how to best support young children, their families, and communities through legislative advocacy. So, stay tuned with ways you can use your voice and help this session!

Legislative Update for March 4-8, 2024

Below is a selection of important bills related to prenatal to 3 issues that we are following. You will find the bill number (including a hyperlink to the bill text), sponsor, the committees of reference for each bill, issue area, a brief explanation of each bill, and the latest action for each bill.

Need to know where to  find out who your legislators are, and how to contact them? 


Here’s what’s happening with House Bill 907
  • Sponsor – Representatives Scoggin (R); Anthony (D); Summers (D)
  • House Committee(s) – Workforce Development
  • Senate Committee(s) – N/A
  • Issue Area – The bill was substituted in committee and passed the floor of the house on 3/7.

Explanation of the Bill – The original House Bill 907 that was filed by Representative Donnie Scoggin of Jones County would create a childcare teachers’ wage incentive program to incentivize eligible teachers to stay in this critical industry. The goal of the program would be to provide some stabilization for the Mississippi child care worker shortage by increasing the supply of affordable child care seats while also recognizing educators for their ongoing efforts to improve Mississippi’s early education and care system.

Explanation of Substitution – The committee passed a committee substitution of the bill, that creates a task force to study child care and its effect on the workforce. Although this is not the original bill, we are pleased that the workforce committee is taking some action. The revised bill was passed by the house yesterday (3/7). We will be requesting some additional edits to this revised task force bill to ensure that additional voices are heard.

Action – We will be requesting some additional edits to this revised task force bill to ensure that additional voices are heard, and want to make sure it gets through to the senate floor, so stay tuned on next steps.

Here’s what’s happening with House Bill 185

  • Sponsor – Rep. John Hines (D)
  • House Committee(s) – Youth and Family Affairs, Workforce Development
  • Senate Committee(s) – N/A
  • Issue Area – Early Care and Education
  • Latest Action – Died In Committee

Explanation of the Bill – House Bill 185 would create the Childcare for Working Families Study Committee to develop recommendations for ensuring that all working parents and caregivers across the state have access to affordable childcare. The committee would also identify ways to spend, allocate, transfer, grant, or expend funds directly to the Child Care Payment Program for purposes of supporting the childcare system to ensure that we have a stable workforce that sustains the needs of more families and communities across the state.


Here’s what’s happening with Senate Bill 2329 

  • Sponsor – Sen. Nicole Boyd, Additional Author: Williams
  • House Committee(s) – N/A
  • Senate Committee(s) – Public Health and Welfare
  • Issue Area – Early Development
  • Latest Action – The committee passed the bill as written, and it has gone to the full Senate chamber to be placed on the calendar for a vote.
Explanation of the Bill – Senate Bill 2329 would reconstitute and set membership and responsibilities for the Early Intervention Task Force. The task force would be responsible for collaborating with the Mississippi State Department of Health to assist the agency in implementing a new service delivery model for Part C of IDEA and making changes to the early intervention program. Upon submitting these recommendations in a final report to the Mississippi Legislature, the task force would be dissolved.

Action – Make sure your legislators know we want this to pass!


Here’s what’s happening with House Bill 539

  • Sponsor – Rep. Missy McGee (R)
  • House Committee(s) – Medicaid
  • Senate Committee(s) – N/A
  • Latest Action – Passed, pending approval from Governor

Explanation of the Bill – House Bill 539 would provide presumptive eligibility for pregnant women seeking to get on the state’s Medicaid program. Pregnant women could receive up to 60 days of Medicaid coverage by going to a Mississippi Division of Medicaid approved provider, including county health departments, to provide proof of pregnancy and income. Additional information regarding this bill can be found here.

Action – Thank your legislators if they supported the bill and tell them why it’s important for children’s health!

Hear from Childhood Professionals

For information about legislative updates, please contact us at policy@msearlylearning.org.