State Sen. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, is being accused in some quarters of killing legislation that would ensure the continued op eration of a Mississippi Department of Health lab.
Indeed, Baria did use a procedure granted by the Mississippi Constitution to hold the bill on a motion to reconsider Monday after it was passed. That motion meant the Senate would have to stay another day to dispose of that motion and release the bill to the other chamber.
Rather than doing that, a majority of the Senate, led by Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, opted to end the special session, effectively killing the legislation. Unless other steps are taken, the lab, which among other things tests for West Nile virus, runs the risk of being shut down.
On the surface some might say the death of the bill and the ultimate possible demise of the lab is Baria’s fault. But people who say that are only trying to make political points.
The fact of the matter is that the House also had passed legislation to ensure that the lab remained open. That legislation was either in the Senate or would have been in the Senate before the day was up.