The Mississippi Senate unanimously supported a bill giving counties, cities, and schools the ability pay employees who are placed on administrative leave during a State of Emergency Declaration.
On March 14, the governor issued a State of Emergency recommending the closure of school districts for one week due to the presence of or threat of the presence of COVID-19. Other local and state governmental agencies have adjusted hours and other working conditions because of the virus.
Under current law, state agencies may pay state employees when they are placed on administrative leave because of an emergency declaration. House Bill 1647 (companion Senate Bill 2925) extends this authority, using their current budget, to local governments and school districts. The authority is voluntary, not mandatory, and has been provided by the Legislature in previous emergency situations including post-Hurricane Katrina.
“The last thing our local governmental entities and schools need to be worried about is how to pay their janitors, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and so many others,” Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said. “Before we temporarily adjourned the Session, it was imperative we take this concern off the table for our local officials.”
House Bill 1647 now heads to the Gov. Tate Reeves for his signature.
The Senate also voted unanimously to adjourn the 2020 Legislative Session until April 1 to conform with recommendations from the federal government and State Health Officer. House Concurrent Resolution 65 provides the Session may reconvene earlier or later than the date specified upon agreement of the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House.
For more information about COVID-19, visit www.healthyms.com.