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Alternative Initiatives: Obligation or Misuse

JACKSON, Miss. – When Mississippians vote in November, for the first time ever, they will have the choice of an alternative when they vote on a ballot initiative. Last week Republicans at the state capital passed House Concurrent Resolution 9 (HCR9) which adds an alternative choice to initiative 42, which aims to adequately fund education. This forces either decision to obtain at least 40 percent of the vote.

State Representative Greg Snowden (R) said on the Paul Gallo Radio Show that he believes the legislature has the obligation to provide an appropriate alternative when dealing with initiatives he considers bad, like initiative 42. He said he would not be surprised if the legislature passed another alternative in the future. His example was if a broad marijuana initiative were to be on the ballot, the alternative could be the legalization of only medical marijuana.

State Senator David Blount (D) did not vote for the HCR9, but says he does support the law regarding alternative initiatives. However, Blount does have a problem with how he believes some lawmakers are misusing the legislative action.

“If you want to do all you can to kill it, then that is a tactic that is open to you. What I object to is I think that most people who voted yes on the alternative are not for the alternative. I don’t mean to say everybody, but most people who voted yes on the alternative are simply trying to kill the people’s initiative. I think that is disingenuous. If you are opposed to the people initiative that is your right, but you should just vote no at the ballot box and go beat it.”

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