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Antiquated provision plays havoc with...

Antiquated provision plays havoc with some legislation

By: Magnolia Tribune - February 17, 2009

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Editorial, 2/17/9

As both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature scurried last week to make a key deadline, the process was slowed to a crawl as members invoked their constitutional right to have bills read.

At one point, House Ways and Means Vice Chairman David Norquist, D-Cleveland, explained a bill that made technical changes at the state Tax Commission.

Because of the complexity of the tax code, literally hundreds of pages of law had to be brought forth in legislation to make relatively minor technical changes.

After Norquist explained the bill late in the afternoon on a deadline day, Rep. Kevin McGee, R-Brandon, stood and asked for the bill to be read.

McGee was upset that it appeared the leadership was not going to take up a bill that would allow liquor to be served in Flowood, which is in his district in Rankin County.

Norquist burst out laughing, and said under his breath “that bill is more than 250 pages.”

The reading had not started before House Ways and Means Chairman Percy Watson, D-Hattiesburg, made the motion to essentially kill the bill by sending it back to his committee.

No reading was needed for that lengthy bill.

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Magnolia Tribune

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