Around 5:00 Friday, we were alerted that lawmakers were informed they would return to the Capitol on Monday at 4:00. It has also been posted on the state website.
Several members from both legislative chambers have confirmed to Y’all Politics that Mississippi House and Senate leaders will call their chambers back to the Capitol on Monday afternoon. They say the plan is to pass a pre-negotiated budget for the Department of Marine Resources.
Governor Tate Reeves told the press earlier this week that he was in discussions with legislative leaders to try and reach an agreement to have the agency funded, leaving open the possibility that he would be forced to call a special session. However, it appears that calling legislators will not be necessary as they will return on their own.
Sources tell Y’all Politics that there will be no need for a special session as the Legislature has four days remaining on their calendar. Given the potential deal, lawmakers could gavel in and out in one day, at the most two.
DMR is the only budget that was not passed prior to the start of the new fiscal year which started July 1st. The Legislature also failed to fund the agency last week when they met to correct the education department budget.
The debate over approving the department’s budget stems from a disagreement within the Legislature on how GOMESA projects should be directed, either through the Legislature or by the Governor. Senators have generally sided with the Governor giving him the discretion as has been the precedent with these funds, while House members have sought to force the Governor and DMR to submit project listings, seeking explicit approval from the Legislature.
Y’all Politics will update this story as it develops.