The Clarion-Ledger, 3/4/9

State lawmakers are expected to continue trying today to bypass Gov. Haley Barbour to accept all of the $2.8 billion in federal stimulus dollars available to Mississippi.

House Concurrent Resolution 64 certifies the state’s intention to request and use all of the money, with or without Barbour’s approval. It cleared the House Rules Committee on Tuesday in a 7-to-5 vote, with Democrats supporting the bill and Republicans arguing against it.

The House resolution must pass the full chamber before moving to the Senate. Its future there is less promising, since GOP Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant has said he is opposed to the plan.

Barbour is one of a handful of governors, mostly Republican, who have said they will not accept millions of dollars to expand unemployment benefits to part-time workers.