The Clarion-Ledger, 2/4/9

Legislation requiring Mississippi voters to show identification gained momentum as a key legislative deadline passed Tuesday, while a $90 million hospital tax plan to help pay for Medicaid was among many bills that died for lack of support.

Sluggish revenues forced lawmakers to kill some bills on the deadline day for committees to pass general legislation and constitutional amendments in their own chamber. Other measures proved too controversial to pass.

But key House leaders reversed course on voter ID, a contentious issue that has repeatedly failed in the Democratic-controlled chamber. The measure that cleared the House Apportionment and Elections Committee allows voters to show various forms of ID, such as driver’s licenses or utility bills, and includes provisions for early voting and same-day registration.

The bill faces obstacles on the House floor from Republicans who view it as watered-down and Democrats who object to voter ID requirements. Differences with the Senate must also be worked out.