The Clarion-Ledger, 3/2/9

Mississippi would receive hundreds of millions of dollars from a massive spending bill the House approved last week.

The $410 billion omnibus spending bill would pay for government operations through September. It became necessary after Congress failed to finish work last year on most spending bills that fund federal agencies.

The Senate is expected to approve the bill this week, even as Republicans attack it for including thousands of local projects – or earmarks – requested by lawmakers.

Nearly every college and university in the state would benefit from the earmarks, as would dozens of state agencies and municipalities.

Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi Medical Center stand to get $6.5 million each for a technology park, requested by Republican Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and former Rep. Chip Pickering. UMC also is slated to get $2.8 million for construction that would help in the completion of the Guyton Research Building on campus. The building’s top three floors, when completed with this funding, will be used for obesity and cancer research. The research park will be located at the site of the old farmer’s market on Woodrow Wilson Boulevard in Jackson.