The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 6/25/8

The Legislature returns Thursday to the Capitol for the ongoing special session, but still with no agreement on how to fund a $90 million deficit in the Division of Medicaid.

The Legislature adjourned the 2008 regular session in April without dealing with the deficit. At the time, Senate leaders, including Appropriations Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, said it could be taken care of during the 2009 regular session or in special session.

But Gov. Haley Barbour has said the 2009 regular session is too late. Unless the House passes a hospital patient tax that the Senate already has approved, he said, he will begin making cuts in the program in August.

The special session began May 21, and legislators took care of a laundry list of items. But they recessed June 4, deadlocked over Medicaid.