LEGISLATURE APPEALS HINDS COUNTY JUDGE’S DECISION
JACKSON – The Mississippi Legislature today appealed the decision of a Hinds County Judge who refused to approve the Initiative 42A ballot title agreed upon by Attorney General Jim Hood and legislators.
The notice of appeal was filed at the Mississippi Supreme Court. Legislators will argue the Hinds County Circuit Court overstepped its constitutional authority in contradicting the actions of the Office of the Attorney General.
The legislative alternative, known as Initiative 42A, ensures public schools are effective in educating Mississippi’s children without subjecting statewide education policy decisions to a single judge in Hinds County. The Legislature passed the initiative to provide Mississippi voters with an alternative to Initiative 42, which allows a single Hinds County judge to make decisions that will have far-reaching consequences for the entire state.
This dramatic shift in power away from locally-elected legislators is likely to result in significant tax increases, drastic cuts in state priorities – such as funding for universities, community colleges, University Medical Center, roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, and even agricultural programs – or both.
Initiative 42 and Initiative 42A will be on the Nov. 3 ballot. Voters can also choose not to change the Constitution by voting “no” to both options.
In a joint statement, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn said, “We appreciate General Hood for working with legislators to phrase the ballot language, and we do not believe this circuit court can override his authority. This one Hinds County Judge decided his opinion was more important than the majority of the members of the Legislature, including the elected Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House, the Secretary of State and the Democrat Attorney General. His actions are precisely why Mississippi voters should be scared to death of Initiative 42. We have warned voters from the beginning that Initiative 42 allows for one judge in Hinds County to decide how to spend billions of your tax dollars on education funding and slash other state services like higher education and infrastructure needs. Our forewarning has come true – those who were not happy immediately ran to a judge in Hinds County to seek relief in their favor. This will happen again and again if Initiative 42 passes.”