After several back-and-forth rounds of voting, the House voted to send legislation to the Senate that would remove most state employees from the purview of the Mississippi State Personnel Board.
If it passes the Senate, most of the 30,000 people who work for the state of Mississippi would serve at the will and pleasure of their agency bosses.
On Feb. 2, the House passed HB 974 by a tight 62-57 margin. However, the bill was held on a motion to reconsider.
Since its initial passage, some members seemed to get cold feet. On Feb. 8, an attempt to remove the procedural hold and send the bill along to the Senate failed, albeit narrowly, 59-61.
Thursday morning, before the vote, Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, implored his colleagues to think about state employees, including “the men who drive bush hogs” for the transportation department and make around $8.50 an hour and game wardens and “pretty fat cats” at the state’s development agency charged with marketing the state domestically and abroad.
“It is your solemn responsibility to provide some protection to the people who, at great sacrifice, choose state service so we can have some semblance of government,” Holland said.
Thursday’s final vote to send the bill to the Senate was a narrow 59-57, with six members not voting:
Voting Yea (59):
Shane Aguirre, R-Tupelo; William Arnold, R-Booneville; Mark Baker, R-Brandon; Manly Barton, R-Moss Point; Charles Beckett, R-Bruce; Donnie Bell, R-Fulton; Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach; Joel Bomgar, R-Madison; Scott Bounds, R-Philadelphia; Randy Boyd, R-Mantachie; Chris Brown, R-Nettleton; Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula; Lester Carpenter, R-Burnsville; Gary Chism, R-Columbus; Angela Cockerham, D-Magnolia; John Corley, R-Lumberton; Carolyn Crawford, R-Pass Christian; Beckie Currie, R-Brookhaven; Scott DeLano, R-Biloxi; Bill Denny, R-Jackson; Dan Eubanks, R-Walls; Casey Eure, R-Biloxi; Mark Formby, R-Picayune; Robert Foster, R-Love; Jeffrey Guice, R-Ocean Springs; Philip Gunn, R-Clinton; Jeff Hale, R-Nesbit; Joey Hood, R-Ackerman; Steve Hopkins, R-Southaven; Mac Huddleston, R-Pontotoc; Chris Johnson, R-Hattiesburg; Bill Kinkade, R-Byhalia; Timmy Ladner, R-Poplarville; Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia; Vince Mangold, R-Jackson; Roun McNeal, R-Leakesville; Nolan Mettetal, R-Sardis; Sam Mims, R-McComb; Alex Monsour, R-Vicksburg; John Moore, R-Brandon; Ken Morgan, R-Morgantown; Karl Oliver, R-Winona; Randall Patterson, R-Biloxi; Bill Pigott, R-Tylertown; Brent Powell, R-Brandon; John Read, R-Gautier; Margaret Rogers, R-New Albany; Noah Sanford, R-Collins; Jeffrey Smith, R-Columbus; Greg Snowden, R-Meridian; Gary Staples, R-Laurel; Jody Steverson, R-Ripley; Brad Touchstone, R-Hattiesburg; Jerry Turner, R-Baldwin; Tom Weathersby, R-Florence; Jason White, R-West; Patricia Willis, R-Diamondhead; Cory Wilson, R-Madison; Henry Zuber, R-Ocean Springs.
Voting Nay (57):
Jeramey Anderson, D-Escatawpa; Willie Bailey, D-Greenville; Nick Bain, D-Corinth; Earle Banks, D-Jackson; David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis; Toby Barker, R-Hattiesburg; Sonia Williams-Barnes, D-Gulfport; Chrisopher Bell, D-Jackson; Edward Blackmon, D-Canton; Cedric Burnett, D-Tunica; Credell Calhoun, D-Jackson; Bryant Clark, D-Pickens; Alyce Clarke, D-Jackson; Dana Criswell, R-Olive Branch; Oscar Denton, D-Vicksburg; Deborah Butler Dixon, D-Raymond; Jarvis Dortch, D-Raymond; Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville; Bob Evans, D-Monticello; Michael T. Evans, D-Preston; John Faulkner, D-Holly Springs; Debra Gibbs, D-Jackson; Karl Gibbs, D-West Point; Greg Haney, R-Gulfport; Ashley Henley, R-Southaven; John Hines, D-Greenvile; Stephen Holland, D-Plantersville; Rep. Gregory Holloway, D-Hazlehurst; Kevin Horan, D-Grenada; Stephen Horne, R-Meridian; Robert Huddleston, D-Sumner; Abe Hudson, D-Cleveland; Jay Hughes, D-Oxford; Lataisha Jackson, D-Como; Robert Johnson III, D-Natchez; Kabir Karriem, D-Columbus; Steve Massengill, R-Hickory Flat; Carl Mickens, D- Brooksville; America Chuck Middleton, D-Port Gibson; Tom Miles, D-Forest; David Myers, D-McComb; Orlando Paden, D-Clarksdale; Willie Perkins, D-Greenwood; Thomas Reynolds, D-Charleston; Ray Rogers, R-Pearl; Randy Rushing, R-Decatur; Omeria Scott, D-Laurel; William Shirley, R-Quitman; Rufus Straughter, D-Belzoni; Preston Sullivan, D-Okolona; Kathy Sykes, D-Jackson; Sara Thomas, D-Indianola; Mark Tullos, R-Raleigh; Kenneth Walker, D-Carthage; Percy Watson, D-Hattiesburg; Adreienne Wooten, D-Jackson; Charles Young, D-Meridian.
Not voting (6):
Shane Barnett, R-Waynesboro; Larry Byrd, R-Petal; Andy Gipson, R-Braxton; Doug McLeod, R-Lucedale; Rob Roberson, R-Starkville; Donnie Scoggin, R-Ellisville.