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Gulf of America legislation will not return, Holland says

Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, filed during the 2012 legislative session a bill that would have renamed the Gulf of Mexico the Gulf of America.

Holland said then that he did it to highlight what he felt was the absurdity of the agenda being pushed by the new Republican majority.

Holland took no small amount of flak for the bill, which died in the Universities and Colleges Committee. The GOP accused him of failing to concentrate on serious issues. Whatever the reason Holland had for filing the legislation, its idea became a popular notion. Gulf of America twitter accounts appeared. Holland was a guest on a Houston, Texas, radio show, though it was a short and fairly tense interview that ended when Holland hung up on the host.

The movement that sprang up around the bill will not return this session. Holland said Wednesday morning that he will not re-file the bill.

“The stupid people up here totally misunderstood it,” he said in a phone interview.

Holland said his 2013 legislative agenda would be narrowly focused, and consist of “three or four local bills” geared toward his district in Northeast Mississippi. That’s a sharp contrast to prior sessions, when his list of bills has been robust.

“I’ve been down here for 30 years fighting for things that actually mean something for Mississippians,” Holland said. “Now the only thing that gets any attention is mediocre (expletive).”

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