Rep. Currie says resort status bill vetoed; will likely come up again in special session
Gov. Phil Bryant vetoed a bill shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday that would have given resort status to Brookhaven County Club and, in effect, allowed the property to serve alcohol.
Authored by Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, House Bill 144 would have allowed the club’s owners to offer alcoholic beverages for sale in the clubhouse, restaurant and golf course. The service would be available for dining and events such as weddings and receptions.
According to Currie, the governor assured her that his veto had nothing to do with the language of the bill, nor the intent of it to bring resort status to the country club.
“He loves Brookhaven,” Currie said, “and he assured me he wants to help us in special session to find a place to put it.”
Currie said once a bill goes to Ways and Means, other legislators can attach items to it — a method nicknamed “Christmas-treeing” because odds and ends are added to the main bill.
Bryant did not like certain items that had been Christmas-treed to the original bill, and wanted to avoid approval of everything that had been attached, said Currie. The only way to do that was to veto the bill as he had received it.
Currie said Bryant called her just after he rejected the bill, to explain his stand on it. He told her he understood the club had new owners, Currie said, and he wanted to help her, the club and the city of Brookhaven.
“We’re going to make sure that gets done,” added Currie. “Whether that’s through the Legislature or your Board of Aldermen, we’re going to get it done for them.”
The status and history of any House or Senate bill can be found online at BillStatus.ls.state.ms.us.