Barbour Asks House to Pass Senate Bill

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The governor and Senate Judiciary A Committee Chairman Charlie Ross call the bill a significant compromise.

It has a $500,000 cap on pain-and-suffering damage awards in medical malpractice lawsuits and $1 million in lawsuits against businesses. The Senate passed the bill 35 to 9.

Last week, the Senate approved a separate bill with a $250,000 cap on all pain-and-suffering awards, but House Judiciary A Chairman Ed Blackmon said he strongly opposes any caps and he's not changing that position.

Barbour said if a lawsuit bill passes both chambers, he won't keep lawmakers in Jackson a long time to deal with voter identification. He also said he will add the reauthorization of the Department of Human Services to the session agenda, but he thinks legislators can deal with that quickly.

Unless legislators do something, DHS is set to go out of existence after June 30.