Lawmakers Adjourn

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The Mississippi Legislature recessed Friday for the weekend, leaving business liability negotiations to wait until next week. The House and Senate will return to work at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19.

House members had expected to meet Friday with senators for more talks on a compromise civil justice bill. But senators did not show up for a meeting. Senators say they had not announced the meeting while in session and could not officially meet. The special session began Sept. 5.

Little progress has been made on the civil justice reform bill in recent weeks. The Senate has sent the House a bill for consideration. The bill is an amended version of one already passed by the House. Its fate is uncertain.

House leaders say they probably won't act on it because conferees have those issues under study. The bill tracks much of what was in a medical malpractice reform law passed a month ago. It would cap pain-and-suffering awards, beginning at $500,000.

The bill does not mention capping punitive damages, which has been sought by the business community.