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Update: 2017 Legislative Agenda of the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office

1.Election Code Update – Technical updates to the Election Code as well as revisions such as the implementation of a certified poll manager training program; staggering of election commissioners’ terms; reduction in the number of paper ballots required to be printed and machines to be used; shortening of the timeline for political committees to file statements of organization to forty-eight hours (48) after receiving or spending funds; increasing transparency by requiring filers to itemize payments made to credit card issuers or banks; and placing sanctions on political committees failing to make required filings with the Secretary of State’s Office.

HB 467, sponsored by Rep. Bill Denny, passed the House and the Senate. Because changes were made in the Senate, the bill will now be transmitted to the House for concurrence or non-concurrence. The Senate version of this bill was sponsored by Sen. Sally Doty.

2.Vulnerable Adult Amendments to the Mississippi Securities Act – Under the Mississippi Vulnerable Persons Act, investment advisers and broker-dealers must notify the Department of Human Services if they know or suspect a vulnerable person has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited. This proposed amendment to the Mississippi Securities Act will require investment advisers and broker-dealers to also notify the Secretary of State’s Office, and allow them to notify a third party or delay disbursements if they reasonably believe financial exploitation has been attempted or has occurred. This amendment, along with its immunity provisions, will encourage firms to report potential financial exploitation as early as possible.

SB 2911, sponsored by Sen. Sally Doty, passed both chambers and is currently headed to the Governor. The House version of this bill was sponsored by Rep. Hank Zuber.

3.Increasing Security Violation Penalties – Under the Mississippi Securities Act, securities firms are required to reasonably supervise their employees and failure to do so is a violation of the Act. This bill amends the Act to clarify if a firm fails to supervise an employee for more than twelve (12) months or fails to supervise multiple employees these failures result in multiple violations of the Act rather than a single violation.

SB 2423, sponsored by Sen.Joey Fillingane, passed both chambers and is currently headed to the Governor. The House version of this bill was sponsored by Rep. Hank Zuber.

4.Public ImprovementDistrict (PID) Amendments – Amends the Public Improvement District statutes by reducing PID board member terms; removing board members who fail to attend meetings or fail to pay required PID assessment fees; limiting contribution agreements made by counties or municipalities; determining voting interest by the number of tax parcels or acres owned; allowing the county or municipality to dissolve the district, appoint a new board, or take other action; and providing for property to be stricken to the PID if assessments are unpaid and unredeemed at the county tax sale.

HB 1308, sponsored by Rep. Jason White, passed the House and was transmitted to the Senate. However, it died in the Senate Finance Committee.

SB 2450, sponsored by Sen. Joey Fillingane, died in the Senate Finance Committee.

5.Business Law Clean-Up – Amends the Mississippi Business Corporation Act to allow for winding up after a corporation is administratively dissolved and removes the ten (10) year limitation on voting agreements.

SB 2350, sponsored by Sen. Sean Tindell, passed both chambers and is currently headed to the Governor for his consideration. The House version of this bill was sponsored by Rep. Cory Wilson.

7.Mississippi Entity Conversion and Domestication Act Clean-Up – Makes technical amendments clarifying documents to be filed with the Secretary of State and removes charitable non-profit corporations from the list of entities eligible to convert.

SB 2327, sponsored by Sen. Sean Tindell, has been signed by the Governor. The House version of this bill was sponsored by Rep. Cory Wilson.

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