JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The controversial House Bill 1020 passed through a Senate committee on Thursday with major amendments.
Just hours after the Hinds County Delegation in the House unveiled their plans to combat HB 1020, massive changes were made to the bill.
The amended bill removes the appointment of judges, meaning there would be no separate court system within the Capital Complex Improvement District (CCID).
The amendments also took out language that would expand the CCID into Northeast Jackson.
“I think we made some progress. At the end of the day, we have a crime problem in Jackson. We all know that, and this, hopefully, will provide an avenue by which we could work with the district attorney, judges,” said Sen. Sollie Norwood (D-District 28).
The amended bill would also extend and expand the addition of judges to the Hinds County Court system through 2026, bringing the total number of Hinds County judges to nine.
The jurisdiction of Capitol police would also increase to include the entire City of Jackson, alongside the Jackson Police Department (JPD). The City of Jackson would enter a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Public Safety on this matter.
“I don’t think moving forward with the citywide is going to help as much as it could,” said Norwood.
“I’d like to tweak the MOU language between the police department and Capitol police. I’d like to really include the sheriff’s department as one of the signers of the MOU, probably would need to do some tweaking of it,” said Sen. John Horhn (D-District 26).
The bill is not near it’s final form, and Hinds County lawmakers are keeping an open mind as the process continues.
“This is not the final product. We’re gonna see what happens on the floor of the Senate, and then send it to the House and see what happens there,” said Sen. Hillman Frazier (D-District 27).
The bill is expected to go to conference as the Senate is poised to pass a bill that is drastically different than what was passed in the House.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba released a statement about the amendments to the bill.
The recent amendment to HB1020 still exists as an attack against black leadership. It is an effort to strip one of the largest black communities in the nation of its voting rights, pick its leadership and deny the right to vote. This bill would make Mississippi a model for red states with blue capital cities. At its core, this bill is about lawmakers giving themselves the ability to outmaneuver the federal government. So, by policy or through actually preventing people to vote, it still reflects the poorest version of Mississippi. Lastly, the portion of the bill that suggests that the City of Jackson sign an MOU (memorandum of understanding) in ‘agreement’ with the CCID merely suggests legislators realize this bill is fraught with constitutional issues. Therefore, they want it cloaked as an agreement between the city and the state – as opposed to what it really is – a seizure of power over our City.Chokwe A. Lumumba, Mayor of Jackson