A majority of your House of Representatives let you down today.
Despite the more than 200,000 Mississippians who signed the petition for Initiative 42, and despite the thousands of you who called, emailed, texted, tweeted, and otherwise asked your legislators to vote NO on any alternative amendment, 64 of them did exactly what you repeatedly asked them not to do. The House passed HCR 9, the legislative alternative to Initiative 42, on a 64 to 57 vote. You can see how your representative voted here.
Please join me in thanking the 57 representatives who stood up for our children and voted against the phony alternative designed to kill the people’s school funding amendment.
The debate was intense and interesting. Many rose to speak passionately about the need for adequate school funding. They acknowledged that the reason that we have Initiative 42 is that the Legislature has consistently failed to provide adequate financial support for public schools, even when revenue has been plentiful. That contingent urged their colleagues to vote no on HCR 9 (the legislative alternative).
On the flip side, Rep. Greg Snowden and Rep. Mark Baker spoke in favor of the alternative. Rep. Snowden acknowledged that the alternative amendment, if adopted, would not have a fiscal impact on the state budget (translation: no increased funding for public schools). Rep. Baker said they were doing you a favor by offering the legislative alternative. He said that you didn’t know what you were signing when you added your name to the petition and implied that their alternative will save you from yourself.
A Chance to Overturn the Vote
After the vote was taken, HCR 9 was held on a motion to reconsider, which means that the House will revisit the vote that was cast today and members will have another chance to vote on it, probably tomorrow. It is possible that the outcome could change. This is an opportunity for you to test, once again, the responsiveness of the folks you elected to office.
If you are happy with your representative’s vote, call and thank him or her.
If you are unhappy with your representative’s vote, please call your rep and ask why that vote was cast.
Also be sure to ask your representative to support reconsidering the vote – and to vote NO on HCR 9.
Let me know what you hear. We all deserve answers.
Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770
Democracy Suffered a Blow Today
At a later date, I will explain the differences between the wording in Initiative 42 and the bogus alternative in HCR 9, how the alternative takes power away from the people and gives the Legislature unfettered authority to deny our children an adequate education, with little recourse for voters.
But today the key point is that you spoke – loudly and repeatedly – and were ignored. The House of Representatives sent the message that a majority of its members believes that it does not need to be responsive to the people it was elected to serve.
The essence of the debate was captured on Twitter. Click here to see some of the tweets that describe what was said on the floor of the House today.
It’s going to be a long session. Our kids have an awful lot to lose, but with your help, I know that we can prevail and ensure a better day and a brighter future for Mississippi children.