House Accepts Senate Plan

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The Mississippi House of Representatives has accepted a Senate proposal for divvying up a $100 million lawsuit settlement. That's a major step in completing work for a special session.

Legislators went home for the weekend after three days' work and will return to the Capitol on Monday afternoon.

The money is coming from MCI for a lawsuit over taxes the company owed the state. It will be spent on several one-time expenses, including $50 million to shore up the Public Employees Retirement System.

Gov. Haley Barbour had proposed some other uses for the money, including using some of it to repay funds taken last year from the Department of Transportation, but he says he accepts the uses approved by lawmakers.

The plan gives $35 million to the Mississippi Development Authority to pay off the state's obligation on the failed Mississippi Beef Processors plant.

Also, $5 million is going to the Department of Public Safety to train a new class of troopers and to buy equipment and $10 million is going to the University of Mississippi Medical Center for a cancer institute.