Frustrated Lawmakers Can't Settle Bond Dispute - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/17/04

Frustrated Lawmakers Can't Settle Bond Dispute

Diane Peranich heard that Governor Barbour blamed her and three other South Mississippi representatives for the 10 day special session stalemate.

"I imagine the governor was venting his frustrations," she said, while walking outside the third floor entrance to the House chambers.

"I'm 100% for funding Northrop Grumman," the Pass Christian representative said. "But I don't think the special session to bring new bills that we have no idea what they were, to expect us to vote as the Senate did."

The governor's $109 million bond package benefits Northrop Grumman and 12 other Mississippi companies. The Senate passed it in less than an hour. But the House still can't get it out of a committee.

Rep. Roger Ishee can't believe the House hasn't accomplished anything.

"It's the most frustrating thing I've ever heard of," the Gulfport representative said.

Frances Fredericks was also singled out by the governor on WLOX.com for blocking his economic package.

"If you're not going to do it right, we should go home," she said. "Why should we stay here and just feud with each other when you can go home and work out your problems, and then come back?"

Fredericks wants other bond bills that benefit colleges and universities to also be included in her overall vote.

"I didn't come up here, and the people who sent me here didn't send me up here, just to support the governor," she said.

The constant refrain heard ringing around the Capitol had to do with partisan politics and trust. This fight, more than any other in recent memory in the House chambers, had to do with republicans versus democrats and the lack of trust they have for one another.

"I'm sick and tired of partisan bickering," Biloxi Rep. Mike Janus said. "We've got to get this job done. We should have done it last week within hours of meeting here."

Ishee echoed that philosophy.

"It's politics," he said. "Hardball politics. If you think it's bad now, just think what it's going to be like from January through early April."

Fredericks worries about the divide that seems to be separating the House.

"Mississippi isn't a state that's large enough to lend itself to partisan politics," she said. "We're just not that kind of state. And I think it's going to destroy us if we don't do something about it."

by Brad Kessie

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