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Governor Calls Special Session For Civil Rights Museum

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 31 Mar 2011 05:46pm | comments
Governor Haley Barbour

Final details for building a Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Downtown Jackson could get worked out next week. Mississippi. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports.

Governor Haley Barbour announced his plan to call a special session for next week early Thursday morning.

Barbour says law makers need to approve the money for a Mississippi civil rights museum and history museum in downtown Jackson.

"It is very important to education and tourism. And more importantly to the image of the state. I think it is critical that these be finish before the beginning of the bicentennial celebration in 2017. That is the urgency behind doing it now," Barbour said.

The Two museums are expected to cost more than 75-million dollars.

The process bogged down over whether or not to require private matching funds to build the structure.

Senator John Horhn of Jackson says the state should fund the museums .

"These are both entities of the state. We have never had a situation where an entity of the state is required to have private funds before any construction would take place for those entities. I think we are setting a dangerous precedent and I don't think it is proper in these case or any case," Horhn said.

The Governor agrees that the state should pay for the buildings but says they should accept private donations for the exhibits.

Representative Tyrone Ellis of Starkville says the legislature could still reach a deal without a special session.

"And I think that it gives him a posture of having control and getting the job done in the special session. It gives you a little bit more authoritativeness, if you will, on how you are to bring it about because it gives him an opportunity to state his case, make his case, and win his case," Ellis said.

Law makers already extended their session to deal with the budget. The special session will run concurrent with the extended session to avoid the cost of bringing the law makers back to Jackson. 

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Governor Haley Barbour


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