House Sends Bill to Senate

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The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bond bill, 112 to 2, Thursday that is designed to aid economic development in Mississippi.

The bill includes Gov. Haley Barbour's proposal of $108 million for economic-development projects. It also has $109.5 million dollars for repairs and renovations at universities, $50 million for community colleges and $30 million as part of the Ayers college desegregation lawsuit settlement, but there's a catch.

Gov. Haley Barbour said late Thursday he'll strike down the bond bill because he says it has "racial quotas." The bill includes minority set-asides for contracts in state-funded job creation programs.

The set-asides were added to the bill during a committee meeting, on an amendment by Rep. Ed Blackmon, D-Canton, a member of the Legislative Black Caucus.

Senators could either kill the bill or amend it and seek final negotiations with the House. House leaders were touting the bill as a compromise that could help end a contentious

The session is in its ninth day. So far, the session has cost $345,320.