Legislators Go Home

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House and Senate negotiators return to the capitol on Monday, Sept. 30, to continue their talks on a medical malpractice bill. Other lawmakers have been sent home until Oct. 7.

Lead House negotiator, Rep. Percy Watson, said he hopes a compromise proposal will be reached before the other lawmakers return. The special session began Sept. 5.

House Speaker Tim Ford and Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck say they are sending rank-and-file members home, because many from south Mississippi are worried that tropical storm Isidore will turn back into a hurricane before making landfall on the Gulf Coast.

By coming in to work Wednesday, legislators lost their $1,500 out-of-session monthly expense checks. Legislators lose that if they're in session more than half the days of any given month.

Wednesday was the 19th day of the session but the 16th workday for all legislators in this 30-day month. For three days, only negotiators were on the clock.

Through Tuesday, the session had cost taxpayers $567,215. If all 174 lawmakers lose their $1500 out-of-session expenses, the state would save $261,000.