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MSA gets strong vote of support

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.

“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.”