Lawmakers in special session all day Sunday

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The House and Senate moved quickly on several bills to get state programs funded just two days out from the start of the fiscal year, this Wednesday, July 1st.

Between sessions, WLOX spoke with coast lawmakers, House Representative Dirk Dedeaux and Senator Michael Watson to check in on their progress.  They told us they probably will vote on as many as 55 appropriations bills by the end of Sunday night.

According to the Dedeaux, lawmakers could be getting close to wrapping up the special fund budget Sunday night.  But, appropriations for the general fund has yet to be addressed but could be as early as Monday morning.

Though a special session was called, the governor made it clear that Medicaid isn't on the special session agenda, at least for now.

"I'm not going to let the failure of Medicaid shut down the rest of state government if everything else was resolved.   With the agreement of everybody involved, we came back to deal with everything but medicaid.  If we can reach a Medicaid agreement while we're here, then we will expand from there," says Governor Barbour.

The Chairman of the House Medicaid committee, Representative Dirk Dedeaux of Gulfport had this to say in light of the governor's decision.

"We have given him the ability to make cuts to providers.  We are giving him the tax on hospitals that he has asked for.  We have given him a number of issues on technical matters that he has asked for, but he wants some other things that we feel like are extreme."

Lawmakers will start up again Monday morning.

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