Bryant not crazy with special session within regular session

JACKSON — Count Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant as those not fond of Gov. Haley Barbour’s special session within the regular session.

Last week when the Legislature was in regular session to work on adopting a state budget, the Republican Barbour called a special session for some items he was interested in to be considered.

Throughout last week, the Legislature would jump from regular session to special session and vice versa. On more than one occasion, the Legislature’s presiding officers, Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, in the House, and Bryant in the Senate, would have to adjourn one session and begin another to stay within the often complex parliamentary rules.

At one point, the Senate was debating an issue, and Bryant had to stop in the middle of the debate and convene the special session because the Senate had moved earlier to re-convene the special session at that particular time.

Bryant said having a special session within a regular session caused undue confusion.

“I hope we don’t do that again,” Bryant said recently.

Barbour had called a special session within a regular session once before in his first term. But it had not been done previously in recent memory.

And Barbour’s previous special session within a regular session was called on the weekend of a regular session so the item on the special session agenda essentially had legislators’ full attention. Last week the two chambers were jumping back and forth.