The Clarion-Ledger, 3/17/9

Mississippi House members are aiming to limit the amount spent on state cell phones, but they may face a fight over the issue in the coming weeks.

The Senate on Monday deleted language from a series of House appropriations bills passed last week that would have prohibited state agencies, ranging from the Division of Medicaid to the Department of Education, from paying for cellular phone equipment or usage plans.

Law enforcement and emergency management would have been exempted from the House proposals.

“Cell phones are about a $3 million expense for the state,” said Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville. “I’m not sure we can completely cut them out, but it is something that should be looked at.”