The Mississippi Senate on Tuesday approved $695,000 for the secretary of state to defend a proposed voter identification law, and the budget bill moves on to the House for more work.
The secretary of state’s overall $13 million budget for fiscal 2014 was rejected last week, but many senators were out of the chamber at the time. During a second vote Tuesday with better attendance, Senate Bill 2901 passed.
Mississippi needs federal approval for any changes to election laws, to ensure that the changes don’t dilute minority voting strength. If the Justice Department rejects the voter ID proposal, as many expect, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann could ask federal judges to approve it.