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Mississippi Education: Lawmakers Funnel Millions to Connected Companies

Top lawmakers carve out millions of dollars for handpicked education vendors and pet projects each year, bypassing state bid laws and steering money to companies that know the right people or hire the right lobbyists.

A Clarion Ledger analysis of education appropriations for the last four years uncovered millions of dollars in earmarks for select vendors — most of them represented by three lobbying firms. In at least four cases, key lawmakers received campaign contributions from vendors who received those earmarks.