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Barbour welcomes bill's death

JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour is supportive of the recent inaction on a bill in the House Representatives that the governor said would have put pressure on local businesses already struggling with the recession.

In a statement, Barbour said, “I want to thank members of the Mississippi House who on Monday decided to let a bill die that would have raised business taxes and threatened job creation. By not bringing up House Bill 1346, the House supported my long-held position that the last thing Mississippi needs in the middle of this global recession is a tax increase on the very people who create jobs. The bill was intended to draw down federal stimulus funds, which, once drained, would force Mississippi to raise taxes on employers to the tune of $18 million per year.

“I appreciate the members of the House who clearly recognized this bill for what it would eventually be a 75 percent tax increase on Mississippi business owners. I urge the House to take quick action on Senate Bill 2404 to continue the Department of Employment Security without any disruption to the assistance provided to job seekers and employers.”

The title of H.B.1346 was “an act to make it unlawful for an employer to terminate the employment of any employee who has made a good faith claim under the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Law, and for related purposes.”

The bill’s principal author was Rep. Edward Blackmon Jr. of District 57. It was introduced Jan. 19 and referred to Judiciary A. It died there Feb. 3.

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