Mississippi lawmakers approve 16 more prosecutors, including 2 for Jackson County

JACKSON, Mississippi — Mississippi lawmakers are approving 16 more prosecutors in circuit courts after they were prodded into action by Gov. Phil Bryant.

Lawmakers approved the assistant district attorneys and funding for the positions Wednesday after Bryant called a special session.

House and Senate negotiators couldn’t reach an agreement on a bill in the 2014 regular session that would have added more prosecutors and judges, as the two chambers argued over adding new judges and rearranging the boundaries of the circuit and chancery districts that cover the state’s 82 counties.

The new bill adds a new prosecutor in 14 circuits on Nov. 1. Two of those circuits, one covering Madison and Rankin counties and one covering Jackson, George and Greene counties, will get a second new prosecutor on July 1, 2015.

The remaining eight circuit districts will retain their current number of prosecutors.

Senate Judiciary A Committee Chairman Briggs Hopson, R-Vicksburg, said new assistant district attorneys were assigned based on need. Bryant echoed that position Wednesday at the Governor’s Mansion.

“This needs to be on who needs them the most,” he said. “Who needs the most assistant district attorneys, and who needs the most judges? And that should be where we put our resources.”