Special Session Over, Really

By  | 

A three-judge panel of the state's high court sided with Gov. Haley Barbour, who said he had the constitutional authority to end a special session that was in stalemate.

The Senate had adjourned and left Jackson last Friday.

Barbour had asked the Supreme Court to intervene after Rep. Jamie Franks and Rep. Steve Holland obtained a restraining order from Hinds County Chancery Judge William Singletary at 4:28 p.m. Monday, just two minutes before the time Barbour wanted to end the session.

The adjournment leaves the fate of the Department of Human Services uncertain. The agency goes out of existence after the current budget year ends June 30.

State Rep. Greg Snowden said another special session is possible in late June of the governor may opt to run the agency himself.

Snowden said the DHS reauthorization bill was hung up over a dispute about whether Medicaid issues could be addressed, though that issue seemed pretty clearly to be beyond the call of the special session.