But discussions of another cigarette tax hike this year - this time just on the tobacco manufacturing companies or “non-participating manufacturers,” or NPMs, that weren’t a party to the state’s tobacco settlement - should come with a giant asterisk.
Key leaders in the Mississippi House and Senate compromised late Sunday on a nearly $5 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year, but it’s not known whether Gov. Haley Barbour will agree to the plan before the year begins July 1.
State Health Officer Dr. Ed Thompson said infant mortality exacts a huge cost on Mississippi, taking the lives of more than 800 babies each year.
Car-tag costs, salaries for teachers and state workers, funding for Medicaid and other government functions hang in the balance as the bickering over spending continues.
In the Senate, a deal crafted by senators was offered to the House, then withdrawn when the governor said no.
“It is my understanding the Senate offered a proposal and the House accepted it,” Flaggs said. “But then the Senate leaders took that offer to the governor and he rejected it. The Senate then reneged on its offer. “That leads me to believe the governor wants a special session because of his unwillingness to compromise.”