Legislators gavel in for ‘24 session

Published 6:15 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

By Frank Corder 
Mississippi Today

The gavels fell in both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 2, opening the 2024 legislative session. Members were sworn in for the new term and the leadership began officially organizing the state Senate and House of Representatives.

The Senate welcomed seven new members to its 52-member body. Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann (R) continues as the President of the Senate for another term, having won re-election in 2023.

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Over in the House of Representatives, 25 newcomers were seated in the 122-member body, including District 10 Rep. Josh Hawkins of Batesville, who represents portions of Lafayette and Panola Counties.

The chamber elected a new Speaker as Philip Gunn chose not to seek re-election, leaving the House after serving 12 years at the helm. Gunn was the first Republican to wield the gavel in the House in more than 100 years.

Set to take up the mantle is Gunn’s chief lieutenant, Speaker Pro Tempore Jason White (R). White was nominated by the House Republican Caucus to assume the role of Speaker. State Rep. Manly Barton (R) looked to be White’s Pro Tem.

Republicans retained their hold on the Legislature during the 2023 elections, continuing to enjoy a supermajority in both chambers in the new term.

No committee chairmanships or assignments have been announced in either chamber at this point. Members have submitted their requests and leadership will be making those appointments in the first weeks of the 125-day session.