One look leads to the observation that the Mississippi Capitol is a massive, magnificent building, but during the roughly three months a year when the Legislature is in session it doesn’t seem that big.
During those three months, there are literally hundreds of people in the building throughout the day – occasionally late at night – working in relatively civil tones for different agendas.
There are the 174 members of the Mississippi Legislature, scores of lobbyists representing big business, medium-size business, small business, poor people, trial attorneys, sick people, disabled people, and the list goes on and on. All state agencies have a presence in the Capitol while the Legislature is in session, with the governor’s office having the largest.
Members of the Legislature are right here in the Capitol and normally accessible to the media. There are the occasional legislators who bypass an interview with a journalist to chase down a lobbyist to finagle his next free meal, but those are by far the exception.
When I heard about the Medicaid rumor, I saw House Appropriations Committee Chairman Johnny Stringer, D-Montrose, so I simply asked him about a possible deal. He refused to say a deal had been worked out, but confirmed that progress had been made.