The Sun Herald, 2/12/8

Gov. Haley Barbour describes a bill that passed in the Mississippi Senate on Tuesday as a way to make government more efficient, but critics say the proposal does nothing more than clear the path for unfair firings and unnecessary pay raises.

The bill would exempt most state agencies from the oversight of the state Personnel Board, which sets job protection policies for many state employees.

The agencies would not have to adhere to the policies for one year. During that time, agency heads would have free will to hire and fire state workers.

The bill passed 28-22. Most Republicans voted for the bill and most Democrats voted against it. The bill could come up for more Senate debate before moving to the House.