Officials debate possible hiatus
Concerns about what public would think worry some

Mississippi lawmakers have until Friday to agree on more than 100 budget bills, while legislative leaders continue to squabble over revenue projections, priorities, and whether to call a hiatus and return in late April to finish the fiscal 2011 budget.

House Rules Committee members voted 5-5 Monday against a plan that would have sent lawmakers home after this week and called them back April 20 to finalize the budget.

Though the House Democratic and Republican Senate leadership supported the idea, concerns over what the public would think about a session extension seemed to squash that plan.

“The public is going to look at this, rightfully so I think, like we didn’t get the work done on time and that we jury-rigged the system to get the maximum amount of money” in lawmakers’ pay, said Rep. Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, a Rules Committee member.