The measure was defeated by a vote of 9-5, according to notes from the meeting Hood’s office provided to reporters. Eight of the nine votes against the measure came from Republican members of the committee, with Rep. Margaret Rogers, D-New Albany, as the only Democrat to vote against it.
But it was not just GOP opposition that killed the bill. Ten Democrats on the committee – more than enough to pass the measure – either were not at the hearing or did not vote.
Rep. David Norquist, D-Cleveland, said some of the Democrats who were absent were at other committee meetings at the time. For example, Norquist was at a Ways and Means Committee meeting, as was fellow Judiciary A Committee member Rep. Percy Watson, D-Hattiesburg.