- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi lawmakers on Wednesday killed a proposal to create a state fund for improvements to parts of the capital city.

House Bill 1564 (https://bit.ly/26fNz5o ) died when the House sent it back to a committee for more negotiations.

The Senate adjourned its part of the 2016 session before that work could happen.

The bill would have created a regional board and advisory committee to work with Jackson on improvements to parts of the city. The area runs from the Pearl River to Jackson State University and includes the Capitol and the Mississippi Coliseum.

The measure would also have directed 12.5 percent of Jackson’s monthly sales tax back to the city and required 15 percent of that money go to police and fire departments.

Negotiations stalled after Republicans took out an allocated $21 million for the fund and tax allocation.

They also added provisions allowing state Capitol Police to enforce laws anywhere in the district and creating a governor-appointed judge to hear all criminal offenses in the area. They would normally go to Jackson Municipal Court.

Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said lawmakers from the city were unwilling to accept the provisions creating a special judge and enhancing state government’s law-enforcement authority over the district. He said the provision giving the Capitol Police jurisdiction would have given state government other powers.

Horhn said that because there was no longer any specific funding attached to the bill, the city had no incentive to share power.

“I think they made it unpalatable, whether by design or unintentionally,” Horhn said.

He said it was possible Republicans would now blame Jackson for killing the deal.

“I think they can now say we gave them a shot and they turned it down,” he said.



- Although the Senate ended its part of the 2016 session Wednesday, the House will return Thursday to remove a procedural block on House Bill 1223 (https://bit.ly/26fJvSz ) that would allow people to carry open containers of alcohol in entertainment districts.

- Mississippi will not add domestic violence as a reason for divorce. A final version of a Senate Bill 2418 (https://bit.ly/26fNoH4 ) passed the House on Wednesday but died in the Senate a short time later.

- Bryant said he will sign a bill to expand the board of Mississippi’s largest airport. Senate Bill 2162 (https://bit.ly/1RnU1x1 ) will replace the current five-member board appointed by Mayor Tony Yarber with a nine-member Jackson Metropolitan Airport Authority.


Associated Press writers Emily Wagster Pettus and Jeff Amy contributed to this report.

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