A truce between Republicans and Democrats in the Mississippi House seems to be holding as the two parties worked to pass dozens of pieces of legislation Monday. Leaders from both sides are looking to put the political tensions that stalled progress last week behind them.
Lawmakers in the House worked well into the evening Monday, passing nearly 80 bills with relatively little partisan debate. Most of the legislation was relatively routine and non-controversial, it was a far-cry from the gridlock that stalled the House last week.
House minority leader, Democrat, David Baria of Bay St. Louis says . . .
"I think I told you last week that we would come back today and we would be back to the regular order in the House, and I think what you saw today is exactly that," Baria says. "That's doesn't mean we don't disagree on some bills. It doesn't mean that we don't have heated debate, but we're moving bills off the calendar and that's what we're supposed to be doing."
Among the bills passed was legislation to require students to perform better on state tests before being able to move on to the third grade, a bill that would allow residents to take a gun inside any state courthouse but not into courtrooms and a measure to create a Division of Child Protective Services to oversee Mississippi's troubled foster-care system.
Republican Speaker Pro Tem, Greg Snowden of Meridian says it was good to get back to work.
"When the House puts it's minds where it should be and we work together to get legislation passed, which is what people sent us here to do, we accomplish more in five hours tonight than we did in the five-and-a-half hours last Thursday where we were at loggerheads," Snowden says.
Lawmakers have until Thursday to pass general bills onto their counterparts in the other chamber.