The Clarion-Ledger, 5/22/8

The Mississippi House on Wednesday quickly approved bills that tweak a toll-road law and keep the state’s employment agency open, but its key leaders left the Capitol unwilling to return until Medicaid funding woes are added to the agenda next week.

Their abrupt departure after a 67-50 vote on the first day of a special session called by Gov. Haley Barbour leaves most of his other proposals unresolved.

Although the House reauthorized the state Department of Employment Security, Senate Republicans refused to accept the bill because it mandates the agency’s review in another year. They are expected to debate the legislation again today.

Barbour, the only one who can call a special session and dictate the issues, also wants lawmakers to change an immigration bill he signed and address a metal theft bill he vetoed. Additionally, gaming restrictions, judicial pay raises and voter identification rules are on his agenda.