The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 2/20/8

Bills that eventually could allow utility companies to raise rates before building additional plants, permit cities to seize drug houses and toughen penalties for burglary or violence involving identity theft were among those surviving a key legislative deadline Tuesday.

Also advancing were bills that would provide more funding for education and community mental health centers, raise salaries of elected officials, hike the cigarette tax to pay for Medicaid services and address illegal immigrant issues.

But several Hurricane Katrina-related insurance bills were among hundreds that died on the deadline day for committees to pass general legislation and constitutional amendments originating in their own chamber.