State Rep. Shanks joins Y’all Politics to talk about the latest news on the initiative process negotiations. Watch the interview below.
The initiative process in Mississippi remains in limbo with little chance to reach an agreement before the 2022 session winds down.
As reported first here at Y’all Politics earlier this week, at issue is the number of signatures required to certify the initiative, allowing it to be placed on a statewide ballot. The House position is that number should be 12% of qualified electors who voted for Governor in the last gubernatorial election. That equates to roughly 100,000 signatures. The Senate, however, wants to use 12% of qualified electors who voted in the last presidential election, or some 240,000 signatures.
State Rep. Fred Shanks, the lead negotiator on this issue for the House, joined Y’all Politics for an interview on Friday morning to provide an update on the talks. He says it is looking like the issue may be dead this session and could be addressed again next year when lawmakers return in 2023.
The Governor could call a special session to address the issue if he so chooses, however Governor Tate Reeves has been reluctant to call special sessions thus far in his tenure.
If the House and Senate can reach an agreement, either before Sine Die this year or at some point in the future, given that it is a resolution, the Governor would not have to sign the legislation. It would simply be placed on a future statewide ballot for approval by voters as it would change the current state constitutional language related to ballot referendums.
Agreement has been reached on the fact that initiatives should be statutory, not constitutional. Also, both chambers have agreed to limit the number of ballot initiatives on a single statewide ballot should not exceed three at one time.
Watch the interview with State Rep. Shanks below for the details.