Senate signs bill to allow city, county, school workers to be paid on leave
Published 1:32 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Just released from Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann is this press release detailing the Legislature’s effort to pass a bill to allow county supervisors, city aldermen, and school board members the authority to pay employees in case they are put on administrative leave.
Note, though, the language of the bill….boards “shall” have the authority to pay. It is voluntary, not mandatory, from county to county and school district to school district.
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, 2020, 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,” Lieutenant Governor 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 Governor 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.