State Lawmakers Defend Their Actions - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/14/04

State Lawmakers Defend Their Actions

"I'm stunned by your representatives votes," said Governor Haley Barbour as he addressed a crowd of supporters in Hancock County.

Barbour last week blasted South Mississippi House members J. P. Compretta, Diane Peranich, Dirk Dedeaux and Frances Fredericks, who voted against his 109 million dollar bond package of economic incentives for businesses.

They and all the states lawmakers are now on there way back to Jackson to reconsider that package.

Three of the four talked to us via telephone Sunday and accused the Governor of playing politics with this issue.

"We see south Mississippi legislators voting against even considering bonds to create jobs for their constituents, said Barbour."

However it's not that simple says Peranich, Dedeaux and Fredericks.

They all say they'd have no problem voting for the 40 million dollars for shipyard expansion at Northrop Grumman.

"I'm not angry. I'm just surprised," says Governor Barbour.

It's the South Mississippi delegation who say they were surprised by the other 13 bond projects, some of which they'd never even heard of until they arrived in Jackson last week to a capitol building full of lobbyist promoting them.

"I would expect republicans and democrats to vote for what's in the best interest of their constituents," said Governor Barbour.

That's just what Peranich, Dedeaux and Fredericks say they're doing by thoroughly examining the other 13 bond proposals.

Also they say passing the bill as is could jeopardize the later approval of other bond initiatives for colleges and rural bridge improvement.

They say unless the Governor allows them to consider some of the other bond measures that the house and senate agreed, but failed to pass last session, he won't get his hand picked projects passed in this special session.

By: Don Culpepper

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