Conference committee reduces Mississippi DMR personnel board exemption

The Department of Marine Resources would be out from under the oversight of the state Personnel Board for six months under an agreement reached by House and Senate negotiators Monday.

The provision is part of a bill by Sen. Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula that he says aims to increase oversight of the agency. It originally called for a one-year exemption from the Personnel Board but Waveland Democrat David Baria convinced the House to drop that exemption.

DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller is OK with the six-month exemption, according to DMR spokeswoman Melissa Scallan. Baria is not.

“I did not sign the conference report because I object to exempting the agency form the purview of theState Personnel Board,” Baria said. “However, I am pleased that the House vote on removing the exemption helped reduce the time from one year to six months.”