Special Session Ends In Turmoil

Congressional redistricting negotiations hit a quagmire today as the House walked away from the table and the Senate scrambled to keep talks alive. The two chambers opened a special session last Thursday to change Mississippi's five congressional districts into four. Citing a lack of progress, the House adjourned Monday morning. The Senate then voted to return to Jackson later this week.

Senate leaders say their move forces the House back to the Capitol because the state constitution says one chamber can't adjourn for longer than three days without the other's permission. House Speaker Tim Ford said he has no intention of bringing the House back unless he knows there will be an agreement. Ford said another part of the constitution says if the two chambers disagree on when to adjourn a special session, the governor decides when to go home.

Governor Ronnie Musgrove said he was disappointed with Monday's outcome. House Apportionment and Elections Chairman Tommy Reynolds said the House had made concessions but that the Senate refused to give ground.