Senators examine tax dollars for lobby contracts

Published 1:22 am Sunday, November 16, 2008

Public hearings will be held at the Mississippi Capitol next week about state agencies’ use of contract lobbyists.

Senate Ethics Committee Chairman Merle Flowers says he has subpoenaed College Board president Amy Whitten and former Higher Education Commissioner Thomas Meredith to appear Wednesday.

Flowers, a Republican from Olive Branch, says officials from the Department of Transportation, the Division of Medicaid and other agencies also will testify. The committee will hear from regulatory experts Thursday.

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PEER — the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review — issued a report in August saying Mississippi’s public universities, community colleges and state agencies should be banned from using tax dollars to hire lobbyists.