By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press
JACKSON — Mississippi senators rejected the secretary of state’s budget Thursday amid an argument about paying lawyers to defend a proposed voter identification law.
It’s probably a temporary setback.
Appropriations Chairman Eugene “Buck” Clarke says he’ll bring the budget bill back up next week and he expects it to pass when attendance is better. Several senators didn’t vote Thursday.
Mississippi needs federal approval for any election changes, and a voter ID proposal was submitted to the Justice Department months ago. If it’s rejected there, Republicans want to ask federal judges in Washington, D.C., to approve it.
Senate Bill 2901 says the secretary of state could spend up to $695,000 for voter ID litigation during the year that starts July 1.
If the budget bill passes the Senate, it goes to the House.