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Miss. pays over $60K to defend lawmakers in ballot dispute

JACKSON — Public records show the state has paid more than $60,000 to defend Mississippi legislative leaders in a dispute over school funding amendments.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal requested House and Senate spending records, which show the state paid Jackson attorney Michael Wallace $60,222 between March and August.

The dispute was over the summary voters will see in November, when two school funding proposals are on the ballot.

Initiative 42 reached the ballot through citizen-led petitions. An alternative, 42-A, was put there by the Republican-led Legislature.

Lawmakers hired Wallace after Oxford parent Adrian Shipman sued to challenge the ballot summary of 42-A. House Speaker Philip Gunn says lawmakers had a right to defend themselves.

Shipman’s legal bills were paid by 42 For Better Schools, a private group pushing Initiative 42.

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