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Senate panel kills bill to limit powers of attorney general

JACKSON (AP) — A bill to limit the powers of Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood is “pretty much dead” after a committee voted to set it aside without making a final decision, the chairman said Thursday.

House Bill 555 proposed to limit the attorney general’s power to file civil lawsuits, requiring permission from a three-member panel including the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state for any lawsuit where the state could win more than $250,000.

That would force Hood, Mississippi’s only statewide elected Democrat, to get permission from three Republicans.

The Senate Judiciary A Committee voted Thursday to table the bill. Chairman Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, said that he had sought some sort of compromise that would impose less strict limits on Hood’s ability to sue, but couldn’t reach one.

“I commend the actions of the Senate Judiciary A Committee and its chairman, Senator Tindell, in choosing to table this unconstitutional and ill-advised bill that would hamper the office of the attorney general from protecting the taxpayers of Mississippi from corporate wrongdoers,” Hood said in a statement.