The Clarion-Ledger, 3/4/9

Legislation requiring Mississippians to show identification and allowing them to vote early appears dead with about a month left in the session, while measures that provide accountability for public schools and funding for Medicaid are still alive.

Tuesday was the deadline for House and Senate committees to decide the fates of bills originating in the other chamber. A few Senate Republicans helped kill House Bill 1533 – a measure containing a photo ID provision that had been one of their party’s top priorities.

Sen. Merle Flowers, R-Southaven, said he didn’t like parts of the bill that allowed early voting, and GOP Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant agreed in a statement issued afterward. But the legislation’s death prompted outrage from other Republicans who had pushed for further negotiations. House Democrats also voiced disbelief.

House Apportionment and Elections Committee Chairman Tommy Reynolds, D-Charleston, said the chances of election reform this session are now “slim to none.” A similar Senate bill also died Tuesday.