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Mississippi lawmaker promises ‘another run’ at ballot initiative process next year

As the restoration of Mississippi’s ballot initiative process looks unlikely at this point in the session, lawmakers are hoping another year’s worth of time will help put the House and Senate on the same page when it comes to letting citizens propose law changes.

After the Senate allowed a bill that would have restored the process with strict regulations to die on a motion to reconsider earlier this week, Republican Sen. Jeremy England of Vancleave said during an appearance on The Gallo Show that the topic will be brought up again next year if not somehow revived before May’s sine die.

“We’ll certainly make another run at it next year. I hate that we couldn’t get it this year,” said England, who was one of a handful of senators to author legislation to restore the process. “Look, we need to get it fixed, but it is a very complicated issue.”

While England’s bill was not the one brought up on the Senate floor, the legislation that was narrowly passed last week but later died without much Republican support was hampered by a 67 percent voter threshold for an initiative to pass. That was in comparison to the House’s 40 percent mark of total votes cast for approval.

Previously, the key point of contention between the two chambers had been the number of signatures needed to put an initiative on the ballot. This year, the Senate decided not to put a number in writing after vouching for 230,000 in 2023. The House suggested 150,000 but was willing to negotiate

“I don’t think the signatures were our stumbling block this year,” England continued. “I think it was the actual amount of votes to put something into statute. We in the Senate were looking at 60 percent, so it would be kind of like a school bond issue (requires). And then, that bumped up to 67 percent during negotiations, and I think negotiations just broke down at that point.”

Both plans considered this year were bogged by caveats with the House not allowing people to make changes to laws regarding abortion and the

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