Some representatives who voted against the (House Bill 825 to strengthen Mississippi’s contract laws on) Monday said they wanted to force it into a final round of negotiations with the Senate to restore parts of the bill that the Senate removed.
But Republican Rep. Jerry Turner of Baldwyn, chairman of the House Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committee, said he feared the bill would die if it were sent into negotiations because the Senate killed a similar bill last year.
“The Lord willing, we’ll be back next year,” Turner said. “We’ll be able to address any shortcomings this bill has.”
The bill would establish a board made up of people appointed by the governor and lieutenant governor to examine any state contract worth at least $75,000, Turner said. Under current law, a board made up of state agency directors examines state contracts that are worth at least $100,000.
Turner said the Senate weakened the bill by removing provisions that would have prevented large contracts from being broken into smaller pieces to avoid scrutiny.
The Senate also removed requirements that public officials file annual ethics reports disclosing gifts from people who are not relatives or friends, Turner said.