/Extra day of special session riles GOP leaders

Extra day of special session riles GOP leaders

Tuesday morning, the Senate passed a bill that would give Gov. Phil Bryant could transfer $50 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to pay for any emergency. The bill reached the House floor but Democrats refused to vote to suspend House rules temporarily and immediately examine it. This forced House members to a second day special session. On top of Tuesday’s $68,720, the state will pay House members an additional $33,228. According to Laura Hipp (spokeswoman for Lt. Governor), the sum is covered under the legislative office budget. Tate Reeves. The state’s legislative office budget is part the general fund. This week, it is the focus of discussions because Bryant will likely provide the necessary reserve funds to allow the legislature to balance at the month’s end. Bryant and House Speaker Philip Gunn were both vocally critical of the move Tuesday afternoon. Rep. Scott DeLano (R-Biloxi) called the delay “unfortunate” saying he needed to be at his office “taking care my family”. Clay Chandler, a Bryant spokesperson, said that House Democrats had threatened the funding for state government and raised the possibility of additional $50-60million in cuts for fiscal year 2016. “The governor will make every effort for vital services to include public security and the military to be maintained,” said Scott DeLano, R-Biloxi. Democrats in the House supported the action, citing a lack of fiscal responsibility by Republicans. Rep. John Faulkner (D-Holly Springs) said that while we won’t gain anything but it would bring more attention to the situation. “All that we are trying to do is inform Mississippians about what’s going on in Jackson. … Senators from both sides of the aisle will claim that we are wasting taxpayers’ dollars. We’re actually wasting taxpayers dollars just to be here. Let’s get this sorted out in the regular session, otherwise we’d be gone.” House minority leader Rep. David Baria (D-Bay St. Louis) stated that House Democrats requested a meeting to discuss next year’s budget with state fiscal officials. Baria stated that if that request had been granted, House Speaker Philip Gunn (R-Clinton) could have called the House into session Tuesday afternoon rather than Wednesday morning. Gunn denied that claim later in afternoon, stating that he had not heard from House Democrats until after the afternoon vote to suspend the rules. “Mr. Gunn stated that Baria and his staff are trying to avoid accountability, dodge responsibility for us being here again another day and cost taxpayers another $30,000.” This is a straightforward matter and can be resolved easily. It is simple and straightforward. They’re playing games with taxpayers dollars when they have plenty of time to solve this.” The bill will now be reviewed on Wednesday, at 9 a.m. It will be considered on Wednesday at 9 a.m. If the bill passes without amendments, it will move to the governor’s desk where it can be signed. This report
was co-authored by Kate Royals and Larrison Campbell, Mississippi Today reporters.