Mississippi Lawmakers Approve Policy Changes

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Mississippi lawmakers approved substantial public policy changes during their 2013 session, with an emphasis on new approaches to public education.

However, they adjourned Thursday without funding Medicaid or even agreeing to keep the program alive once the new fiscal year begins July 1. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant will have to call lawmakers back for a special session before the end of June.

Lawmakers grabbed national headlines in 2013 -- and not necessarily in a way that polished the state's image.

Mississippi has long been the most obese state in the nation. Lawmakers passed and Bryant signed Senate Bill 2687, the "Big Gulp" bill, which becomes law July 1. It says local governments can't limit the size of soft drinks or require restaurants to post nutrition information on menus.