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Lawmakers urge Governor Reeves to call...

Lawmakers urge Governor Reeves to call a special session to address Jackson water crisis

By: Anne Summerhays - August 30, 2022

“We need to act now,” the Senators wrote. “This issue is too important to wait until January and the 2023 regular legislative session.”

On Monday, State Senators Hillman Frazier (D), John Horhn (D), Walter Michel (R), Sollie Norwood (D), and David Blount (D) urged Governor Tate Reeves to call a special session in order to address the water crisis in the capital city.

The letter acknowledges that the people of Jackson, Byram, Ridgeland, and Hinds County are in Day 32 of a boil water notice.

The lawmakers state that water pressure issues are shutting down schools, businesses, and government offices and raw sewage discharge has closed the Pearl River.

“We need to act now,” the lawmakers wrote. “This issue is too important to wait until January and the 2023 regular legislative session. We are confident the Jackson legislative delegation can work with you, Lt. Governor Hosemann, Speaker Gunn, and city leaders to find a solution.”

In a Facebook post on Monday, Senator Blount said that every day for the last few weeks, he has been talking to state, county, city, and business leaders about the Jackson water system failure.

“We are in a crisis and we need to take action now,” Blount said. “The status quo is not acceptable.”

“The state, with unprecedented money in the bank, must step up and invest in Jackson and save a system that serves almost one-tenth of all Mississippians,” Blount continued. “We must aside political and partisan differences and act now.”

Senator Michel told Y’all Politics that he, along with the other Senators who represent parts of Hinds County, felt like it had gotten to the point where a special session is needed in order to address all of the opportunities to fix the water crisis.

Senators Frazier and Norwood were also among the Senators who also signed the letter to Governor Reeves.

Frazier spoke with Y’all Politics about the ongoing water crisis following a committee meeting.

Senator Norwood posted on Saturday that he spent most of the day delivering water to seniors, sick/shut in, disable, home bound and caretakers within Senate District 28.

“Elected leaders it is time for us to break down all barriers that have prohibited us from working together, black, white, brown, democrat, republican, independent, or otherwise OUR CITY and HER CITIZENS are SUFFERING,” Norwood said on Facebook. “Let’s get busy, crime, water, streets and now the flood. Come On Y’ALL let’s get together and make a difference! Together we can make a DIFFERENCE and the time is NOW!!!”

Senator Michel spoke with Y’all Politics Tuesday evening and said that he, along with the other Senators who represent areas of Jackson,  felt as if

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn released statements on the Jackson water crisis on Monday.

Gunn said that he was contacted by hospitals, businesses, and schools pleading that something be done to address the water crisis in Jackson.

“Unfortunately, the city leadership has not presented a permanent solution or a comprehensive plan,” Gunn continued. “These groups have turned to the state for help, and it seems we will have to evaluate what options might be available.”

The Lt. Governor noted that cities served by the water system do not have the assets to address the issue in a timely manner and effectively for the longer term.

“Our understanding is the water and sewer system serving 250,000 citizens of the State and numerous businesses is at the brink of collapsing. We have grave concerns for citizens’ health and safety,” Hosemann said. “believe it is time for the State to take an active role in finding a solution—both short term and long term.”

On Tuesday, Governor Reeves issued a State of Emergency regarding the ongoing running water crisis in the City of Jackson and activated the Mississippi National Guard to support state assistance to the city and surrounding areas.


“The state is marshaling tremendous resources to protect the people of our capital city,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “It will take time for that to come to fruition. But we are here in times of crisis, for anyone in the state who needs it. That’s my responsibility as governor, and it is what everyone in my administration is committed to ensuring.”

According to the release from the Governor’s Office: 

  • Mississippi has immediately organized for fire safety and is organizing resources to provide for sanitation and life safety.
  • Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will lead the effort to distribute drinking water and non-drinking water to Jackson residents.
  • The state has created an incident command structure and is surging resources to the city’s water treatment facility and beginning emergency maintenance, repairs, and improvements.
About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: