In the Mississippi Senate, elections bills aren’t sent to the Senate Elections Committee for debate and passage. They’re sent there to die. Senate Elections didn’t even hold a meeting this legislative session. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Senate Elections Chairman Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, have been at political odds for years, and McDaniel has been back-benched. When Reeves routes a bill to Elections, it’s “double-referred” to other committees first. The bills don’t clear those committees, so McDaniel’s doesn’t even get a crack at voting on them. If there is by chance an elections measure that Reeves might consider, he routes it to another committee.
McDaniel lamented this session that several proposals he had for election reform — spurred by his primary loss to incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran last year — couldn’t even get a hearing or vote in his own committee. Among other things, McDaniel wanted the state to move to closed primaries to prevent the Democratic “primary raiding” he says cost him the GOP nomination against Cochran.
House Elections Chairman Bill Denny, R-Jackson, says that whatever is going on in the Senate, it’s affecting his committee’s legislation. He says that even non-controversial bills needed to clean up or clarify state and local election issues are being canned without consideration.
Full Article: Senate Elections: where bills go to die.