Mississippi legislature reconvenes to take up Katrina relief bills Chris Buell at 4:00 PM ET
[JURIST] The Mississippi Legislature [official website] convened for a special session Tuesday to begin work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Gov. Haley Barbour [official profile] addressed lawmakers [AP report; full transcript] at the session and challenged them to help rebuild coastal areas devastated by Katrina. One of the most contentious aspects of the rebuilding effort is the legal question of whether formerly river-based casinos should be allowed to move to land in the state. Under the Mississippi Gaming Control Act [text], the state's 13 casinos are restricted to the Mississippi or the Gulf of Mexico, which left the lucrative barges helpless under winds and surges caused by the storm. Barbour proposed allowing casinos to build inland up to 1,500 feet, if facilities remained touching the water. Barbour also proposed other legislation to provide relief for schools and small businesses hit by the hurricane. The State of Mississippi has more on recovery efforts [relief website]. From Jackson, the Clarion Ledger has local coverage. AP has more.
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