Special Session Underway

Even before the special session started, the Magnolia Bar Association, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Jackson Chapter of the NAACP stated their opposition to civil justice reform and voter ID.

"Allow us, please, to see the outcome of the legislation that has already been passed before we re-fix that was not even broken in the first place," said Crystal Martin, president of Magnolia Bar Association.

The Magnolia Bar Association said Mississippi had enough tort reform during former Gov. Musgrove's special session in 2002.

Just after 5:00 p.m., the Senate passed a civil justice bill 31 to 16 and then immediately passed a voter ID bill 33 to 14. The House was debating an ID bill.

It was not immediately clear when the House Judiciary A Committee would consider a civil justice plan.

On voter ID, the House and Senate still had the same major difference that tripped up negotiations during the regular session.

The Senate wants to make all voters show identification, but the House version exempted people born before 1940.

The Senate bill on civil justice would put a $250,000 cap on pain-and-suffering awards. A House bill was expected to not have the cap.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.