House passes DMR oversight bill with some changes

The House on Tuesday passed an amended version of the Senate bill aimed at providing better oversight of the Department of Marine Resources.

The bill includes an amendment by Rep. David Baria, D-Waveland, that strikes a one-year exemption from State Personnel Board review of hirings at the agency.

"While I feel that Director Miller is doing a good job and needs the flexibility to reorganize the DMR, my paramount concern is that we maintain the highest degree of oversight possible," Baria said. "The state personnel board helps the Legislature exercise that oversight."

The bill now goes back to the Senate, which can either agree to the changes and send it to the governor or call for a conference committee with the House to work out the differences.