Mississippi new laws: Tax cut, teacher pay raise, state song


Several new laws are taking effect in Mississippi on Friday, which is also the first day of the new state budget year.

Teachers and assistant teachers will get pay raises.

The state will start a four-year reduction of its income tax.

Mississippi is becoming the final state to enact a law requiring equal pay for equal work by women and men — but critics say an employer can still pay a woman less based on workers’ pay from previous jobs.

There’s a new state song called “One Mississippi.”

It replaces a song that used the 1959 campaign tune from the late Gov. Ross Barnett. (AP)


In the new budget year, teachers will receive raises that average about $5,100, and assistant teachers will receive $2,000. Mississippi’s average teacher salary in 2019-20 was $46,843, according to the Southern Regional Education Board. The national average was $64,133.


Mississippi will reduce its income tax over four years. Starting in 2023, the 4% income tax bracket will be eliminated. The following three years, the 5% bracket will be reduced to 4%. After the first year, the tax-free income levels will be $18,300 for a single person and $36,600 for a married couple.


Mississippi is becoming the final state to enact a law requiring equal pay for equal work by women and men. Critics said the new law is harmful because it will allow an employer to pay a woman less than a man based on the pay history that workers bring into new jobs.


State and local election offices are banned from accepting donations from outside groups for election operations. Mississippi joins other Republican-led states in setting a ban in reaction to donations that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made across the U.S. in 2020.


The state Department of Health could issue up to five licenses for free-standing emergency rooms in rural areas.


A new law designates “One Mississippi,” by singer-songwriter Steve Azar, as one new state song. It also creates a committee to recommend additional state songs from various genres. The state is ditching “Go, Mississippi,” which had been the state song since 1962.

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