JACKSON, Miss. – Legislators across the state gathered in Jackson, Monday, to rally support for either Initiative 42 or Initiative 42-A.
“If you’re fed up with being 50, if you’re fed up with being on the bottom let’s fund 42,” says Lieutenant Governor candidate Tim Johnson (D), who’s supporting Initiative 42.
“This would wreck havoc on our budget,” says Rep. Greg Snowden (R), proponent of Initiative 42-A.
On November 3rd, taxpayers will get a chance to vote for Initiative 42, 42-A or vote against both.
“What’s going to happen if the people of this state pass Initiative 42, Rep. (Herb) Frierson is under the opinion and I tend to agree with him. The only prudent course of action open to us at that time is to immediately fund the formula which will require us to take about $201 Million out of the rest of the state budget which translates to about a 7.8% reduction in everything but Medicaid, now why would we do that,” says Snowden.
Supporters of Initiative 42 say there would be a phase-in plan to fully fund education.
“If we do not make education, public education a priority in this state we will never break the cycle of poverty that holds this state,” says Initiative 42 supporter Jim Keith.
What has 42 opponents upset? One thing is, if 42 passes people will then have the right to sue the state, giving power to a Hinds County Chancery judge.
“Section 201 of the constitution would be changed to give that authority ultimately to the judiciary system,” says Snowden.
Proponents of Initiative 42 say, yes, a complaint would be filed in Hinds County, but believe the ultimate decision will be with the highest court in the state.
“The final review will be with the supreme court,” explains Rep. Robert Johnson III, (D).
Initiative 42-A will also be on the November 3 ballot. In its language it’s similar to what our state currently does when it comes to funding education.