The Clarion-Ledger, 3/12/9

State lawmakers, facing a legislative deadline Wednesday, finalized bills that would ban traffic cameras, strengthen Mississippians’ property rights and help school districts in financial trouble.

A bill that would allow the state to pay for state employees’ gastric bypass surgeries also advanced – after appearing to be dead on Tuesday.

Dozens of other measures, including one that would strengthen the state’s ability to intervene in failing school districts, are headed to negotiations between the House and Senate.

Only five lawmakers in the 122-member House voted against sending the traffic camera ban to the governor. House Bill 1568 would prohibit cities and counties from passing ordinances to use the cameras. It also would require cities to take cameras down by Oct. 1.