House passes bill to cut attorney general's power

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Republican-led Mississippi House has passed a bill that would limit the powers of the Democratic attorney general.

House Bill 211 passed 59-55 Wednesday.

Proponents say it will prevent Attorney General Jim Hood from imposing his views on elected and appointed officials. Now, officials need Hood’s approval to hire other lawyers. The bill would also require all outside legal contracts be filed with a state board, and require the board to approve contracts worth more than $100,000.

The vote came after long debate and a series of narrow party-line defeats for Democratic amendments.

Hood, the only remaining elected statewide Democrat, opposes the bill and says it is unconstitutional.

A previous bill, considered last week, failed after it was challenged for violating parliamentary rules.

The goes to the Senate.