BY: Paul Hampton/Sun Herald
Much of what was taken up (during the special session of the Mississippi Legislature on June 5) was dropped on lawmakers at the last minute. Gov. Phil Bryant, just three days before the session began, expanded this “most ordinary” session to include the aforementioned “FORTIFY Act.” Oh, and there were “technical amendments” to the Budget Transparency and Simplifications Act, the measure that swept fees and other money collected by departments and agencies into the general fund. Those adjustments brought $600,000 to Biloxi to settle a suit over rent payments by a casino.
The lawmakers managed to take care of all of that and pass the appropriations for the Attorney General’s Office and Department of Transportation and still have time for black lawmakers to give Rep. Karl Oliver, R-Nowhere, a much deserved tongue lashing for his infamous “lynching” post on Facebook.
Oliver just hunkered down and took it. He should have done the right thing and resigned as Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes and others in the Black Caucus suggested, along with the dolt who tore up Barnes’ resolution and surreptitiously left the pieces on her desk.
Perhaps surreptitious is the word I was looking for all along.
But I would have thought a political party with super majorities in the House and Senate and control of all statewide office with the exception of the Attorney General’s Office could hide their shenanigans in plain sight. Turns out, it was disagreement in the Republican Party that led to the special session. That’s no way to shenanigan.
Every problem or issue that was dealt with existed during the so-called “regular” session, although I hesitate to use the word regular with anything that happens on High Street.