On May 14, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said several bills he signed Monday could help the state’s business climate. Critics claim the changes will drain revenue from state government and hurt workers.
Gov. Bryant was flanked by lawmakers and lobbyists at the Woolfolk state office building, where he signed four bills that will become law July 1. They are:
- Senate Bill 2576, which makes several changes that manufacturers and other business groups sought in the workers’ compensation system.
- Senate Bill 2934, which provides larger corporate income-tax credits for businesses that pay the inventory tax.
- House Bill 1537, which provides tax incentives for companies that create new jobs in health care fields such as medical research or distribution of medical supplies.
- Senate Bill 2792, which allows high school students to enroll in job-training programs at community colleges while they finish working on their high school diploma. The new law is aimed at helping students who have dropped out or are in danger of dropping out of high school.
Detractors of Senate Bill 2576, which focused on workers ’ compensation, say it could make things much more difficult for injured employees, or survivors of employees killed while on the job.
2576 states that no compensation will be owed to a worker who is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including the improper use of legal prescription drugs, when an on-the-job injury occurs. Current law does not specifically mention drugs or alcohol but says no compensation is owed to the worker “if the intoxication of the employee was the proximate cause of the injury.”
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