Chairman questions bills on immigration, abortion

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — A Mississippi Senate chairman says he has concerns about immigration-enforcement and abortion-regulation bills assigned to his committee.

The bills face a Tuesday deadline for consideration in the Senate Judiciary B Committee.

The chairman, Democratic Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory, says Monday that the immigration-enforcement measure, House Bill 488, could intrude into the responsibilities of local law-enforcement agencies.

The bill is supported by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Tea Party. It’s opposed by sheriffs, police chiefs, city and county elected officials and several agriculture and business groups.

House Bill 1196 is assigned to Judiciary B and the Senate Public Health Committee. It would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, unless the woman’s health is at risk. Bryan says he’s not sure whether the bill is constitutional.