JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A top Mississippi lawmaker is blocking an effort to punish universities that refuse to fly the Confederate-themed state flag — a symbol that critics see as racist.
The state House passed a bill Wednesday saying public universities could not receive certain tax breaks unless they display the flag. All eight schools have removed it because of the Confederate battle emblem.
The bill was held for more debate. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith says Thursday that the flag spat has caused "animosity" and he will kill the bill by not bringing it up for more debate.
However, the fight persists.
A white lawmaker is trying to put the flag provision into other bills. Legislative Black Caucus members say they will slow down work in the House to protest his effort.