Special Session a Bust

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DHS director Don Taylor said the agency will send termination notices to about 650,000 Mississippians who get a variety of services from food stamps to foster care payments.

The House and Senate passed separate bills dealing with DHS, but because nothing ever reached the governor, the agency was set to die when the new state budget year starts July 1.

The Senate passed a bill to reauthorize DHS. The House vote included undoing the planned cuts of 65,000 people from Medicaid, which could not legally be considered in this special session.

The Senate adjourned three hours into the session without considering the House bill, and the House left a half hour after that without taking up the Senate bill. Both chambers have to agree on a single bill before anything can go to the governor.

Many lawmakers said they wanted to stay at the Capitol and resolve the issue.

President Pro Tempore, Sen. Travis Little, said Gov. Haley Barbour had told him Medicaid would not be added to the session agenda.

Gov. Barbour issued an executive order late Wednesday to keep DHS open, but Hood has previously said the governor can't run the agency with such an order.