The House voted 109-8 to send forward an amended version of Senate Bill 2407. The House and Senate will have to work out their differences before the bill could become law.

The push for openness began after Pascagoula-based Singing River Health System announced last year that it wanted to end its pension plan. That system revealed last year that it had secretly stopped putting money into the employee pension fund in 2009. Workers are still getting pension payments, with hospital efforts to stop paying them tangled in litigation.

Singing River retirees visited the Capital on Tuesday, saying they were pleased after the full House reversed a committee amendment that would have made new legal provisions only apply to the two-hospital system in Jackson County.

“I think we’ve been heard,” said retiree Jean Manning of Moss Point. “That amendment, I think, is going to be fine.”

Some lawmakers, though, continued to question why changes were needed that would apply statewide.

“Why don’t we just cure Jackson County and take other problems as they come?” asked Rep. Omeria Scott, D-Laurel.

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