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Senate halt on tax dollars to lobbyist held on motion to reconsider

The Mississippi Senate voted Thursday to prohibit state agencies from hiring contract lobbyists with taxpayer dollars, but a motion to reconsider was filed.

Senate Bill 2632, by Sen. John Polk, R-Hattiesburg, bans state agencies, universities and community and junior colleges from spending public funds on contract lobbyists.  The bill passed in a 38 –14 vote.

Preliminary estimates show at least $1 million currently is spent on contract lobbyists. However, the cost could be more as the data is reported differently among agency contracts.

“Agencies will have their own employees and contract lobbyists spend time at the Capitol to ask for bigger budgets,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. “Meanwhile, some of these same agency directors complain that they don’t have enough money. The practice is an insult to taxpayers, and I thank Sen. Polk for this good government measure.”

A motion to reconsider was filed. If tabled, the bill moves to the House for further discussion.

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