Speculation, no confirmation, runs rampant on special session

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – Rumors are rampant that Gov. Phil Bryant will call a special session in the coming weeks to take up legislation to lure a company to the West Point area.
“I have heard some rumblings, but nobody has told me anything official,” said Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville.
Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, and Rep. Donnie Bell, R-Fulton, said they also have heard rumors, but nothing official.
Bryant’s office did not comment Wednesday.
He is expected to call a special session before July 1 to deal with funding the Division of Medicaid. The Legislature ended the 2013 session earlier this month without funding Medicaid because of a disagreement on whether to increase the number of people covered by the federal-state health care program.
The Republican governor has said he would not call a special session to deal with Medicaid until there is an agreement reached.
It is expected that any special session dealing with an economic development project – perhaps an automotive manufacturing supplier – would not include Medicaid.
Various published reports, including a tweet from Sen. Will Longwitz, R-Madison, cite April 29 as the date of the special session. Others Wednesday said they had heard other dates, including early May.
Rep. Jerry Turner, R-Baldwyn, said he had been hearing rumors about an economic development project since the 2013 session began, “but I don’t know anything specific.”
Laura Hipp, a spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, said, “It would be inappropriate for the lieutenant governor to comment at this time.”
bobby.harrison@journalinc.com