Last week, Representative William Shirley from Quitman county amended a bill to state that in order for public universities to receive tax exemptions on new dorms, they must fly the state flag on their campus. The bill passed through the House of Representatives, but the committee chairman Rep. Jeff Smith from Columbus is expected to remove the amendment from SB 2509 on Wednesday.
With the impending decision, Shirley added amendments to two new bills mandating that universities fly the state flag. Senate Bill 2954 and Senate Bill 2955 are appropriation bills for the IHL designed to provide a breakdown of funds given to universities across the state. Shirley’s amendment can be read below:
“None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be disbursed to an institution of higher learning in which the individual institutes, laboratories and programs consolidated in this bill are located for any purpose until the institution of higher learning in which the institute, laboratory or program is located enters into a binding agreement with the Department of Finance and Administration, which provides that the institution of higher learning will prominently display and fly the state flag each day of the year and provides that if the institution of higher learning does not so display the state flag, then the institution of higher learning must reimburse the state all or the appropriate proportionate amount of money received for the individual institute, laboratory or program for the portion of the year during which the institution of higher learning fails to display the state flag.”
Shirley insisted that his motivation has nothing to do with the current design of the flag and that it is simply about showing your support for the state that provides funding. Shirley said that a “pink polka dotted elephant” could be on the flag and he would still want it flown on campuses across the state.
Both of Shirley’s amendments failed on Monday, and a third one was tabled earlier on Tuesday.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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