Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Though legislators refused to pass a bill providing $2 million in desperately needed funding to Jackson for law enforcement and street repair, they did produce legislation to help cities like Jackson collect more revenue. Barbour signed a bill allowing the city to collect an extra $1 for speeding or parking violations and another bill, yet to be signed, allows the city to act upon outstanding tickets by towing the offenders' vehicle.
One Senate bill, SB 2385, cuts red tape out of laws regarding abandoned property, allowing the city to sell or lease land taken from delinquent taxpayers more quickly.
The county got its own share of goodies. SB 2608 makes room for one more assistant district attorney for Hinds County. Hinds County DA Faye Peterson said she and others had pushed hard for the legislation.
"Right now, this county is only allotted 10 lawyers to handle the whole caseload. In 2005, when I had 15 or 16 lawyers, we did 1,700 dispositions. In 2006, I only did 1,400. You can see the immediate drop in our productivity when we lose personnel," Peterson said.
Legislators also passed HB 985, a bill that authorizes the construction of a 450-bed jail facility. Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin said he knew very little about the incoming facility at this time.