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franklin county times

Coalition proposes 2003 agenda

By Staff
from staff reports
Jan. 9, 2003
JACKSON A conservative band of Mississippi lawmakers announced a legislative agenda Wednesday that resurrected the idea of photo identification cards for voters and welfare recipients.
The proposals were among 15 items submitted by members of the Mississippi Legislative Conservative Coalition as the 2003 session got under way.
The voter ID bill, sponsored by Reps. Bill Denny, R-Jackson, Rep. Rita Martinson, R-Madison, and Rep. Mark Formby, R-Picayune, would require voters to show some sort of identification in order to cast a ballot. It has never gained favorable consideration by the full Legislature.
Nor has a proposed photo ID card for welfare recipients. Members of the coalition said a picture ID would help prevent abuse and misuse of new electronic benefit cards being used to obtain welfare benefits.
The proposals were submitted under the "finance" and "individual liberties" sections of the coalition's agenda.
The Mississippi Legislative Conservative Coalition is a bipartisan group of 43 state House members who said they intend to promote limited government, free enterprise, individual liberties and strong family values. Area members of the group include Rep. Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, Rep. Eric Robertson, R-Quitman, and Rep. Billy Nicholson, D-Little Rock.
It said its legislative agenda was formulated during a retreat in December and that only bills that received unanimous support were endorsed.
Among other proposals:
Tax free weekend-sales tax holiday. Sponsored by Snowden and Robertson, the bill would allow cities to participate in a sales tax free weekend coinciding with the beginning of school in the month of August.
Give counties the authority to regulate adult entertainment establishments, sponsored by Rep. Gary Chism, R-Columbus.
Prohibit the state from using bond funds to finance recurring expenses, sponsored by Rep. Jim Ellington, R-Jackson.