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Candidates Cristen Hemmins, Jay Hughes Respond to Ruling on Initiative 42-A

Logo courtesy of 42 for Better Schools campaign
Logo courtesy of 42 for Better Schools campaign

The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Thursday to overturn Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd’s ruling that the title of state legislature’s Alternative 42-A to Mississippi citizens’ Initiative 42 be rewritten.

Adrian Shipman, Oxonian supporter of Initiative 42, is the plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Legislature’s alternative to the Initiative 42 ballot measure. She went to the court against the alternative measure that was proposed last January because its wording would confuse the voters in knowing the difference between that and the citizens’ Initiative 42 that will force the state to fully fund K-12 schools.

In April, Judge Winston Kidd ruled in her favor but yesterday the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed his decision.

The Supreme Court’s opinion states on paragraph 25: “Because the Circuit Court of Hinds County heard the appeal without any jurisdiction to do so, we reverse its judgment and render judgment here, finally dismissing Shipman’s petition and the case for lack of circuit court jurisdiction.”

In the same paragraph the Supreme Court also stated that due to the deadline for preparation and distribution of November 3 ballot, a motion for rehearing is not authorized.

Cristen Hemmins, photo courtesy of Cristen for Senate Facebook
Cristen Hemmins, photo courtesy of Cristen for Senate Facebook

District 9 Senate candidate Cristen Hemmins, Oxonian businesswoman and the chair of Lafayette County Democrats, released a statement in reaction to the ruling.

“We all know that 42-A and the vague language attached to it is meant to confuse Mississippi voters and sink the citizens’ initiative that over 200,000 of us put into motion. However, I know Mississippians better than that — our children’s futures are at stake, and we will not be so easily duped by dishonest leadership in Jackson. Mississippians will see through the smoke and vote to fully fund our schools, because our future depends on it,” Hemmins said.

Jay Hughes with his family after he won the election for Ward 1 Alderman of Oxford (photo courtesy of Jay Hughes - Ward 1 Alderman - Oxford)
Jay Hughes with his family after he won the election for Ward 1 Alderman of Oxford (photo courtesy of Jay Hughes – Ward 1 Alderman – Oxford)

District 12 House of Representatives candidate Jay Hughes, lawyer and Ward 1 Alderman in Oxford, said in a statement: “Those of us who believe in public education suffered a sad and resounding defeat today. A sharply divided Mississippi Supreme Court has now backed the legislature’s effort to confuse voters and defeat the real 42 initiative. Neither our current represenative Brad Mayo nor the majority in the House of Representatives, believe that the voices of the 200,000 plus people who signed the ballot intiative should be heard. This ruling will surely embolden the majority in the legislature who already believe they don’t have to follow the laws like the rest of us. More than ever before, be ready to show them on November 3 that educating our children is the first step in improving Mississippi and moving it out of last place. We must do better!

These ballot measures will be voted on by Mississippians on November 3. To stay updated on the citizen’s Initiative 42, visit Initiative 42 for Better Schools website.

Callie Daniels Bryant is a managing editor at HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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