Kent McCarty and Richard Bennett


2023 Session

Approved by Governor

Latest Action

The Governor signed HB 817 into law on April 17. 

Explanation of the Bill

HB 817 would permanently raise the funding rate for early learning collaboratives (ELCs) to $2,500 per child for full-day programs and $1,250 per child for half-day programs. 

As it exists now, the Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013 guarantees $2,150 per child for full-day programs and $1,075 per child for half-day programs, a total of only $4,300 per child.  The bill set a minimum floor for funding that would account for the actual amount it takes to provide high-quality pre-K in Mississippi. It would also ensure that the state can use the budget bill for increases in future sessions without ever having the problem of conflicting enacting legislation, a legally problematic situation the collaboratives are currently in. Because the legislature has funded ELCs at the higher rate for since 2020, the bill would not incur new expenses.

1/16/23On January 16, HB 817 was referred to the House Education Committee.
1/26/23On January 26, the House Education Committee passed HB 817.
2/6/23On February 6, the House passed HB 817.
2/14/23On February 14, HB 817 was transmitted to the Senate and referred to the Senate Education Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee.
2/28/23On February 28, the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee passed HB 817.
3/8/23On March 8, HB 817 passed the Senate with a reverse repealer. The House will need to invite the Senate to conference before concurrence.
3/14/23On March 14, the House declined conference and invited the Senate to conference.
3/22/23On March 22, the House named Representatives Richard Bennett, Kent McCarty, and Kevin Felsher as conferees.
3/23/23On March 23, the Senate named Senators Dennis DeBar, Brice Wiggins, and John Polk as conferees.
3/25/23On March 25, the Senate and the House filed conference reports that removed the repealer from the bill.
3/26/23On March 26, the House adopted the conference report.
3/29/23On March 29, the Senate adopted the conference report.
4/3/23On April 3, the House and the Senate signed the enrolled bill HB 817. HB 817 is due from the Governor on or before 04/20/23.