Statements From Bryant And McCoy
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and Speaker Billy McCoy each issued statements (obviously with different tone) after the legislature adjourned Sine Die today. They are both below the fold.
Lt. Gov. Bryant:
In an overwhelming bi-partisan 30 to 17 vote, the Senate voted Thursday to officially sine die the 2011 session.
“We have been waiting patiently for three weeks to resolve this issue of redistricting with the House,” said Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant. “I am not going to waste any more taxpayer money without hope of a compromise with the House Democrat leaders.”
Senators first defeated a plan sent over by the House where the House redistricting plan was inserted into an improper resolution.
“This movement by the House Democrat leadership is simply unconstitutional. Trying to amend a Senate Resolution with a joint resolution is simply improper and should shock the sense of all the citizens of this state. It is unfortunate that the House Democrat leadership is choosing partisan politics over constitutional principle.”
Thursday was also the last remaining day where funds were allotted for a 90 day session.
The redistricting battle could result in a special session called by the Governor.
“I have discussed with the Governor the idea of a special session but only if a fair compromise were to be reached would I request the Governor to make the call.”
The Lt. Governor extended his best wishes to Speaker Billy McCoy by saying, “Even though we may disagree on issues, I have appreciated our long friendship and mutual respect.”
House Speaker Billy McCoy released the following statement today after state Senate leaders refused to let the full Senate consider a proposal that would have redrawn state House and Senate districts based on the 2010 U.S. Census and ended a federal lawsuit filed last month over the issue.
“Never in my life did I think I would ever live to see the day that a body of this Legislature would willingly cede its authority to a federal court. But that is what the Mississippi Senate is on the verge of doing,” McCoy said.
“By refusing to consider the joint resolution approved by the House, the Senate is knowingly forcing the taxpayers of this state to pay for two legislative elections and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses, all in the name of hoping to achieve a partisan advantage in the upcoming campaigns.
“The legacy left by the Senate is that paying for lawyers to litigate a redistricting plan in federal court is more important than adequately funding our schools and colleges, our community mental health system and our homestead reimbursement program.”