MSA gets strong vote of support

Published 6:00 am Friday, February 9, 2007

An amendment to strip $450,000 from the Mississippi School ofthe Arts was soundly defeated Thursday during a SenateAppropriations Committee meeting at the state Capitol.

The proposal by District 19 Sen. Merle Flowers, R-Southaven,would have stripped a $450,000 increase for MSA’s budget for thenew year.

District 39 Sen. Cindy-Hyde Smith, D-Brookhaven, was the mostvocal in opposition to its passage. The senator believes Flowerswas looking for ways to get more money for projects to help hisnorth Mississippi district.

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“Nobody can really figure out what direction he comes from onmany issues, but I assured him it (additional money) would not becoming from Brookhaven,” Hyde-Smith said today. “I never raised myvoice, I don’t think.”

District 14 Sen. Lydia Chassaniol, R-Winona; District 28 Sen.Alice Harden, D-Jackson; and District 23 Sen. Mike Chaney,R-Vicksburg and chairman of the Senate Education Committee, alsospoke against the amendment, Hyde-Smith said. Flowers cast the onlyvote in favor of his amendment.

Hyde-Smith said she was stunned by the amendment.

“I didn’t know this was coming, but he was strongly defeated inhis amendment,” Hyde-Smith said. “It was met with a very loudoutcry of opposition. A resounding ‘No!’ vote echoed through Room216 in the Capitol.”