The Clarion-Ledger, 3/2/9

Some Mississippi lawmakers believe it’s vital to determine the impact immigration has on Mississippi’s persistent poverty, but legislation to create a task force for the study may not survive Tuesday’s deadline.

House Select Poverty Committee Chairwoman Reecy Dickson, D-Macon, authored House Bill 664 for a task force made up of legislators, officials from state agencies and an immigrants’ rights representative. The panel would study the economic impact of immigrants, including how much it costs the state to provide healthcare, education and other benefits.

The bill passed the House, but Senate Judiciary A Chairman Joey Fillingane said he doubts it will make it out of his committee. General bills are under a Tuesday deadline for committee action.

Fillingane, R-Sumrall, said the state’s financial situation will prohibit any new programs this session.