/Senate leader won’t commit to restoring ballot initiative process

Senate leader won’t commit to restoring ballot initiative process

On Thursday, John Polk, R-Hattiesburg, Chair of the Senate Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committee, stated that he did not know the definitive answer. March 1 is when bills must be approved by both chambers to pass from the other chamber’s committees. The House passed legislation earlier in the year to allow citizens to bypass the legislative process to place issues on the ballot. READ MORE: House votes in favor of restoring a Mississippi ballot initiative process. If Polk fails to pass House Concurrent Resolution39 from his committee by Tuesday, the rules will be suspended. This is a rare and difficult feat at Capitol. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, who preside over the Senate, referred Polk’s bill to Polk’s committee instead Constitution Committee where it would normally be sent. Constitution is headed by Senator Chris Johnson, R.Hattiesburg. “We are still studying the legislation. When Polk was asked about the legislation on February 24, Polk stated that “we have to do it right.” “After all the study, we will see where are at and then decide what we should do.” This is the issue before the Legislature because the Mississippi Supreme Court invalidated the initiative process last May. It ruled that the November 2020 medical marijuana initiative was invalid. Because the Constitution required that the required number be collected equally from five congressional districts, the court declared the process invalid. Due to the 2000 Census, the state now has four congressional districts. One of them was lost. According to the House proposal, a pro-rata share of signatures must be collected from any number of congressional districts that the state may have. The House language would allow voters the ability to put on the ballot issues to amend or change general law. Voters could amend the state Constitution through the initiative that was adopted in the early 1990s, but which was subsequently rejected by the Supreme Court. Both House Speaker Philip Gunn (House Speaker) and Hosemann supported the restoration of the process after the Supreme Court rejected the initiative. Gunn and Hosemann argued for amending general law, not the Constitution. To revive the proposal, it will need a two thirds majority vote in each chamber if it dies Tuesday. It takes a two thirds vote to pass the resolution in normal circumstances. This is because amending the Constitution would be required. To amend the Constitution, both chambers must vote and voters must approve. PODCAST: The proposal to restore a Mississippi ballot initiative is broken down