Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations


Nicole Boyd


2023 Session

Approved by the Governor

Latest Action

The Governor signed SB 2167 into law on April 17.

Explanation of the Bill

Senate Bill 2167 would create a pilot project to evaluate the benefits of reorganizing the state’s current early intervention program, First Steps. It would also establish a task force to study Mississippi’s implementation of First Steps.

In recent years, the underfunding and decentralized nature of First Steps has prevented eligible children from participating in the program. SB 2167 appears to be an attempt to remedy these issues.

SB 2167 has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. It is awaiting further action.

Early Intervention Task Force

SB 2167 would create an Early Intervention Task Force composed of state officials, university faculty members, parents, pediatricians, psychologists, and representatives from local nonprofits. The goal of the task force would be to develop recommendations for potential reforms that could expand access to early intervention services. To inform these recommendations, the task force would: 

  • Evaluate the early intervention infrastructure in Mississippi as it compares to other states
  • Review the reimbursement processes and service rates in Mississippi as they compare to other states
  • Explore locations for early intervention services that would minimize implementation barriers
  • Evaluate how to increase access to telemedicine for initial evaluations and therapeutic services
  • Explore benefits of including more service providers in the early intervention program
  • Review the Comprehensive Systems of Personnel Development (CSPD) and effectiveness of the current early intervention workforce 
  • Explore the feasibility of hiring a CSPD coordinator to ensure all providers meet competencies
  • Explore the feasibility of creating an Office of Early Childhood.

The task force would be required to develop and report its findings to the legislature and proposed rule changes to the State Department of Health by December 31, 2023. 

Early Intervention Pilot Project

As introduced, SB 2167 would have created a pilot project to explore the benefits of reorganizing First Steps. On January 30, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee passed a committee substitute, which did not include the pilot project.

1/11/23On January 11, SB 2167 was referred to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee.
1/30/23On January 30, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee passed a committee substitute for SB 2167.
1/31/23On January 31, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the committee substitute for SB 2167.
2/9/23On February 9, the Senate amended and passed SB 2167.
2/22/23On February 22, SB 2167 was referred to the House Education Committee.
2/28/23On February 28, the House Education Committee passed SB 2167.
3/7/23On March 7, the House added a reverse repealer to SB 2167.
3/8/23On March 8, SB 2167 was returned to the Senate for concurrence.
3/21/23On March 21, the Senate declined to concur and invited the House to conference.
3/21/23On March 21, the Senate named Senators Hob Bryan, Chris Johnson, and Nicole Boyd as their conferees.
3/22/23On March 22, the House named Representatives Richard Bennett, Kent McCarty, and Kevin Felsher.
3/27/23On March 27, the Senate and the House filed conference reports.
3/28/23On March 28, the House adopted the conference report.
3/29/23On March 29, the Senate adopted the conference report.
3/31/23On March 31, the House and the Senate signed the enrolled bill SB 2167.
4/3/23SB 2167 is due from the Governor on or before 04/20/23.