2023 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Land Records Preservation - Senate Bill No. 2514 (effective date July 1, 2023)
This bill amended Sections 7-11-3 and 7-11-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, to clarify the authority of the Secretary of State (SOS) to transfer land records to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH). Due to the age and sensitive material of records maintained by the SOS, its storage capacity is not adequate for the preservation of such records. As a result, SOS will transfer land records to MDAH for proper preservation and storage while maintaining access to said records.
Administrative dissolution notices for corporations and limited liability companies (option for electronic mail notice) - House Bill No. 1101 (effective date July 1, 2023)
This bill amended Sections 79-4-14.21 and 79-29-823, Mississippi Code of 1972, to authorize the Secretary of State (SOS) to serve determination of notices and certificates of administrative dissolution on corporations and limited liability companies by email to the registered agent of a corporation or limited liability company as indicated by the entity. Historically, determination notices and certificates of administrative dissolution were required, by law, to be mailed via first class mail. The authority to provide notices of determinations and administrative dissolutions via electronic mail will result in a reduction of costs associated with first class mailing of pertinent notices and certificates and will increase response rates.
Runoff Timing Clarification - House Bill No. 1276 (effective date July 1, 2023)
This bill amended Sections 23-15-193, 23-15-603 and 7-3-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, to conform to the language added to the Constitution by HCR 47 in 2020, which states that a majority of votes is necessary in elections for state offices, and further provides that if no person receives a majority of the votes cast for state office, a run-off will be held three (3) weeks after the election. These runoff election provisions only apply to statewide elected officials, as provided in Section 140 of the Mississippi Constitution.
Revision of SBEC duties and qualification criteria and establishment of penalty for fraudulent requests for absentee ballot applications - House Bill No. 1306 (effective date January 1, 2024)
This bill amended Section 23-15-811 to provide that no person shall be qualified to appear on the ballot if, by the time the candidate is approved to appear on the ballot for the office sought, he or she has failed to file all reports required to be filed within the last five (5) years and Section 23-15-807 to provide that candidates for judicial office shall not be required to file an annual report in an election year, but shall file one in other years. Because all candidates are now accountable under Section 23-15-807, this bill also amended Section 23-15-211, Mississippi Code of 1972, to revise the duties of the State Board of Election Commissioners (SBEC) by removing the duty of the SBEC to remove the names of candidates from the ballot for failure to comply with the campaign finance filing requirements. Lastly, this bill amended Section 23-15-753 to provide a penalty for any person who fraudulently requests or submits an absentee ballot application for any voter.
Elections Omnibus Bill - House Bill No. 1310 (effective date January 1, 2024)
This bill created and/or amended several election-related statutes. In summary, this bill provided the following:
- Created Section 23-15-615, Mississippi Code of 1972, to authorize the Secretary of State (SOS) to audit election procedures of the 2023, 2024, 2026, and 2027 general elections and outlined the method of selection of the counties to be audited and the criteria to be used during the procedural audit. It requires the SOS to create a post-election audit manual and to compile a report of the procedural audits to be presented to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House, and Chairs of the House and Senate Election Committees;
- Amended Section 23-15-153, Mississippi Code of 1972, to authorize election commissioners to receive a per diem of $110.00 for conducting an audit of an election;
- Amended Section 23-15-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, to change the distribution of the monies in the Elections Support Fund, to fund elections cybersecurity measures;
- Created Section 23-15-152, Mississippi Code of 1972, to provide that a person who does not vote in two consecutive Presidential elections, or any elections in between, shall be sent a confirmation notice. Any voter that does not respond to the confirmation notice, update his or her voter registration, or does not vote during a period that must contain two federal general elections shall be removed from SEMS and provides the time for removal of voter registration records and the retention of removed voter registration records; and
- Amended Section 23-15-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, to provide that by January 1, 2025, the SOS shall compare the entire SEMS to DPS’s license database and follow the procedures in place if a voter is flagged in the database as a potential noncitizen and exempts all documentation provided to show proof of citizenship from the Mississippi Public Records Act.
2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Voting Machine Modernization Act - Senate Bill 2879 (effective upon passage) – This bill enacted and repealed various sections of Title 23 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 to create the Mississippi Voting Machine Modernization Act for the purpose of modernizing voting systems in the state. The act created the Voting Modernization Grant Program to be administered by the Secretary of State for the purpose of reimbursing counties or disbursing funds to counties for the purchase of modern voting systems.
Athlete Agent Model Act - Senate Bill 2690 (effective upon passage) – This bill amended various sections of Titles 37 and 73 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 to revise the Mississippi Intercollegiate Athletics Compensation Rights Act with regard to Name, Image and Likeness Agreements for Student-Athletes.
Mississippi Regulation of Charitable Solicitations Act Revisions - House Bill 590 (effective July 1, 2022) – This bill amended various sections of Title 79 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 to revise the definition of Charitable Organizations as it pertains to religious institutions and clarified notice requirements to establish consistency with the Mississippi Registered Agent Act.
Proof of Citizenship and Election Support Fund Revisions - House Bill 1510 (effective upon passage) – This bill amended and repealed various sections of Title 23 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 to authorize election officials to compare the Statewide Election Management System with state and federal databases to ensure that only United States citizens register to vote in Mississippi. HB 1510 also revised the disbursement of funds from the Election Support Fund by increasing the amount counties receive by twenty percent (20%).
2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
General Laws and Journals of Legislative Session Amendment - House Bill 1177 (effective March 17, 2021) - This bill amended Section 1-5-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, to provide that the Secretary of State shall not provide copies of general laws and journals of legislative sessions to certain recipients unless specifically requested. Created a new statute, Section 23-17-42, Mississippi Code of 1972, to authorize the Secretary of State to insert into the constitution amendments proposed by initiative of the people or legislative alternative in the same way the Secretary of State inserts into the constitution amendments passed by the state legislature.
Perpetual Care Cemeteries/Clean Up Amendment - Senate Bill 2261 (effective July 1, 2021) - This bill amended various sections of Title 19, Title 21 and Title 41 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 as those titles relate to authorizing counties and municipalities to clean property of perpetual care cemeteries not properly maintained and to seek reimbursement.
Registered Agent Act Amendment - Senate Bill 2204 (effective July 1, 2021) - This bill amended various sections of Title 79 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, to revise the LLC Act and Mississippi Registered Agents Act to require the listing of registered agents’ email addresses.
2020 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Land Patent Filing Fee Revision - House Bill 1332 (effective upon passage) - This bill amends Section 29-1-81, Mississippi Code of 1972, to revise the amount of the fee collected by the Secretary of State for the filing of a patent for the conveyance of state land.
Electronic Notary Amendment - House Bill 1156 (effective July 1, 2021) - This bill enacts and repeals various sections of Title 89 and Title 25 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 to allow electronic notarial services and is to be known as the “Revised Mississippi Law on Notarial Acts.”
16th Section Online Filings Update - House Bill 1439 (effective July 1, 2020) - This bill amends Sections 29-1-3 and 29-3-82, Mississippi Code of 1972, to require school district officials to report information on the management of sixteenth section land leases as requested by the Secretary of State and revises the information that must be included in such reports.
Securities Filing Fee Simplification - House Bill 1440 (effective July 1, 2020)-This bill amends Section 75-71-305 and 75-71-310, Mississippi Code of 1972, to establish consistent securities registration filings and fees.
Absentee Voting Update - House Bill 1521(effective upon passage) - This bill amends various sections of Title 23, Chapter 15 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 to revise the procedures and timeline for mailing and receiving absentee ballots.
Foreign LLC Regulation Update - Senate Bill 2510 (effective upon passage) - This bill amends Section 79-29-1021, Mississippi Code of 1972, to authorize the administrative revocation of the registration of a foreign limited liability company if the Department of Revenue indicates that the company is delinquent in payments of taxes.