gunn and hosemann

House Speaker Philip Gunn, left, and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann can agree to delay resumption of the legislative session past April 1, depending on the situation.

JACKSON • The Mississippi Senate on Wednesday morning voted to adjourn until April 1, which officially marks the first time in modern history the Mississippi Legislature has temporarily suspended its session.

With the Legislature having 174 total members, both chambers of the Legislature adjourned on the advice of state health officials and after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rolled out new guidelines that suggested people should gather in groups of no more than 10 people.

As Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann banged his gavel temporarily adjourning the session, 34 people in the state are presumed to have tested positive for the virus, including six people in Hinds County, which is where the Legislature is located.

The Senate adjourned after passing a House resolution that would suspend the session and extend the legislative calendar and after passing a House bill that would allow local governments and school districts to grant employees paid leave during an emergency situation, such as the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The House passed both of the legislative measures on Tuesday and a Senate resolution that would suspend deadlines for legislative actions.

Under the suspension resolution passed, the Legislature is set to come back into session on April 1, but Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Hosemann can both agree to delay the session further.

Hosemann told members of the Senate that they should review bills assigned to their respective committees and expect to “hit the ground running” when the Legislature convenes next.

“I ask you to look and ask your fellow citizens how this body can help them moving forward,” Hosemann said. “They will look to you for leadership. They will look to us for leadership.”

taylor.vance@journalinc.com

Twitter: @taylor_vance28

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