ATTORNEY GENERAL JIM HOOD ISSUES STATEMENT ON HB 555
JACKSON—Attorney General Jim Hood issued the following statement today regarding House Bill 555:
“A legislator advised us that Entergy demanded another vote on the bill and that it be made retroactive. It’s no coincidence that the State’s case against Entergy is now active again in federal court, and this company fears having to pay more than $1 billion for its illegal acts.
“Obviously, House leadership and proponents of this bill bow down to their corporate masters, and it’s unfortunate that this bill’s supporters put such pressure on conscientious Republican legislators to change their vote. I am grateful for the bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans that saw this bill for what it is: an unconstitutional, political power grab that puts the interests of corporations ahead of Mississippi citizens.”
Copy of bill.
Kingfish note: This is the section of the bill that is at issue:
In matters wherein the amount reasonably sought to be recovered by the state or arm or agency thereof exceeds the sum of Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00) inclusive of attorney's fees, interest and costs, the Attorney General shall not file suit or otherwise assert such a claim or cause of action or employ special or outside counsel to file such suit or otherwise assert such a claim or cause or action, without the prior written approval of the Outside Counsel Oversight Commission as defined and provided for is Section 7-5-8.
In matters wherein the amount reasonably sought to be recovered by the state or arm or agency thereof exceeds the sum of Two Hundred Fifty Thousands Dollars ($250,000.00) inclusive of attorney's fees, interest and costs, the Attorney General shall not continue to pursue the matter in any currently pending litigation which has not yet been reduced to final judgment until the Outside Counsel Oversight Commission has reviewed the matter to determine if the Attorney General should proceed, and if so, whether the matter should be pursued before state or federal agency with expertise and primary jurisdiction over the subject of the matter rather than in any state or federal court in which the matter is currently pending. The written decision of the Outside Counsel Oversight Commission shall be required before the Attorney General shall proceed with the matter in any matter.
The bill failed on a vote of 58-60 in the House. However, the bill passed on a 63-56 vote a week later after a motion to reconsider was filed.