Oppose


HB714 - Creates a rebuttable presumption that a child being placed in the custody of a homosexual parent is not in the best interest of the child.

Status: Died in Committee

We strongly oppose HB714. In addition to being discriminatory, this will lead parents in contentious custody disputes to allege that their spouse or ex-spouse is gay to gain the upper hand, and require courts to be part of witch hunt trials to determine the truth in such assertions. What does this mean for same sex couples who have a custody dispute? Would custody be taken away from both parents and given to someone else?


HB493HB1218HB177 - Anti-Sharia bills prohibiting the application of foreign law.

Status: HB493 & HB1218 Died in Committee; HB177 Signed by Governor into law.

The ACLU of MS opposes HB493, HB1218, and HB177. State laws that single out religious groups for discrimination and ban all recognition of established international law are unconstitutional.


SB 2272HB1306 - Requires any infant born to a mother who tests positive for illegal drugs or controlled substance w/o prescription to be placed in foster care.

Status: SB2272 & HB1306 Died in Committee

We oppose SB2272 and HB 1306. By focusing on punishing women rather than promoting healthy pregnancies, these bills would unconstitutionally single out women struggling with alcohol or drug dependency and deter from seeking necessary pre-natal care. Further, HB1306 imposes a harsh penalty, requiring such mothers to be charged with felonious child abuse.


SB2072 - A parental rights amendment.

Status: Died in Committee

SB2072 is a thinly-veiled assault on public education, which would allow parents to challenge any educational or child welfare policy that doesn’t coincide with their own personal, political, or religious beliefs. It could tie officials’ hands in enforcing child abuse and other child welfare laws. It would result in an administrative nightmare. It is also unnecessary, as parents already have the right to opt their children out of certain curricula.


SB2706 - Revises enforcement and penalties under the Mississippi Employment Protection Act. Allows people to report undocumented workers by filling out a complaint form.

Status: Died in Committee

The ACLU remains opposed to legislation which penalizes employers for hiring undocumented immigrants. We believe that such legislation would exacerbate existing patterns of racial and ethnic discrimination in employment, by creating greater risks for employers hiring applicants whom they believe to be immigrants.


HB1309 - Personhood bill.

Status: Died in Committee

HB1309 has wide-ranging consequences for a women's health. This bill would undermine the ability of women and family to make important personal and private decisions. It could be used to ban some methods of birth control. It endangers women's health and lives by interfering with doctor’s ability to treat miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. Further, it could have far-reaching, unforeseen consequences, including reinterpretation of every state law that uses the word "person" (i.e. inheritance or who can file a lawsuit).


HB609 - Anti-Bullying bill.

Status: Died in Committee

We oppose HB609 because the bill fails to identify and protect categories of students most susceptible to bullying and harassment at schools. Mississippi must develop a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates groups that are susceptible to bullying. Research has shown that students in states with non-enumerated bullying laws are no more protected from bullying than students who live in states without any anti-bullying and harassment laws.


HB594 - Includes sex between same sex partners as behavior constituting adultery.

Status: Died in Committee

We oppose HB594 because the bill is intended to create a barrier to equitable treatment for same sex partners. This bill is uneccessary, Mississippi does not need a separate statute to define adultery to include sexual activity with someone of the same sex. The current statute already defines adultery as sex with a person other than your spouse, which is inclusive of all extramarital relations regardless of gender and or sexual orientation.


HB383 - Requires recipients of public benefits to be drug tested annually.

Status: Died in Committee

The ACLU opposes any effort to mandate any type of drug testing of public benefit applicants and recipients as an intrusion upon an individual’s right to privacy and an unreasonable search by the government. In addition to constitutional issues, drug testing is a misguided policy, based on the false premise that individuals affected by poverty are more likely to be drug users than other members of our society. By targeting recipients of public benefits, these proposals disproportionately impact communities of color.


SB2010 - Parents whose child support payments are in arrears shall have their gaming winnings applied to their outstanding child support balance.

Status: Died in Committee

We oppose this bill because it provides no privacy protections for men and women who owe child support. The bill would allow casinos and other gaming licenses to access the information of people who owe child support obligations by granting them access to real-time electronic database shared with the Department of Human Services. This means the data will be shared with any number of the gaming licenses employees.


SB2138 - Increases the minimum waiting period before a woman can have an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours.

Status: Died in Committee

The ACLU of MS strongly opposes this legislation because the mandatory 72-hour waiting period is intended to shame, judge, and make a woman change her mind. Requiring a 72-hour waiting period before abortion is about political interference, not informed consent. Health care decisions are best made by a woman and her doctor, not politicians.


SB2767 - Makes it illegal to perform an abortion of a child based on the child's race or gender.

Status: Died in Committee

SB2767 is essentially an anti-abortion bill disguised in anti-discrimination language. Doctors, not politicians, should decide whether an abortion may or not be performed on a patient, based on a woman’s unique circumstances and health. The ACLU is committed to protecting each woman’s ability to make personal, private health care decisions without government interference.


HB299 - Early Voting, requires absentee voters to attest that they will be absent from their precinct both on Election Day and every day that early voting is allowed.

Status: Died in Committee

The ACLU of MS supports legislation that expands the opportunity to vote by absentee ballot without having to provide a reason or excuse. However, we oppose this bill, as it requires that voters attest that they will be absent from their precincts on Election Day and every day that early voting is permitted. There are too many Mississippi voters who do not have access to in-person absentee voting sites because of disabilities, lack of transportation, or work schedules that conflict with in-person absentee voting hours. Additionally, voters should not have to provide a statutorily-permitted reason or excuse to vote by absentee ballot, as disclosure of confidential or sensitive information raises privacy concerns. No-excuse absentee voting should be available to all qualified voters through the mail and by in-person methods.


HB941 - Would allow election managers and commissioners to receive fewer than eight hours of annual training.

Status: Died in Committee

We oppose HB941 because the bill would allow election commissioners and poll workers to receive even less Election Day training than they currently receive. Fair, open, and accessible elections are a cornerstone of the democratic process and we cannot afford for anyone's voting rights to be trampled due to our failure to adequately prepare the men and women who assist us on Election Day.


HB196 - Tuition Equity bill, which possibly runs afoul of Federal law.

Status: Died in Committee

The ACLU of MS is concerned that HB196 runs afoul of federal law which prohibits residency with the state as a basis to receive in state tuition.


HB1154 - Would allow hospitals who are owed a debt to go directly to the IRS or state tax commission to collect on a debt.

Status: Died in Committee.

We oppose HB1154 because it would constitute an illegal “taking” of personal property, in violation of the 4th Amendment. Before a person can be deprived of a property right, they must be given due process. Further, this bill is unnecessary, as hospitals already have legal mechanisms to collect debts without violating a constitutional right.

 

Support

HB10 - Discourages wage discrimination.

Status: Died in Committee

The ACLU of MS supports HB10 because, by working to end discrimination in the workplace, we ensure that all workers — regardless of sex, race, national origin, age or disability—are able to bring home every dollar they rightfully earn.


HB750HB573SB2466SB2474 - Amends bullying laws to enumerate categories of victims, and mandates the creation of anti-bullying policies for school district.

Status: HB750, HB573, SB2466 & SB2474 Died in Committee

The ACLU of MS supports these bills, as research has shown that students in states with non-enumerated bullying laws are no more protected from bullying than students who live in states without any anti-bullying and harassment laws. According to the Mississippi Department of Health Vital Statistics in 2013, 635 youth ages 10-24 have committed suicide since 2000 – an average of 49 deaths per year. The most often-cited cause of this is bullying. HB750 strengthens Mississippi’s existing anti-bullying law by clearly identifying common characteristics that all-too-often become the target of bullying in schools, including disability, appearance, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.


HB534 - Adds “sexual orientation” as a basis for hate crimes charges.

Status: Died in Committee

We support this legislation because it recognizes sexual orientation alongside other protected categories. This bill would punish people for violent acts when victims are targeted because of bigoted beliefs. LGBTQ Mississippians need and deserve the protection of the law. HB534 shows them that they are not alone in their fight to live free of harassment, intimidation, and abuse.


SB2295 - Requires the State Superintendent of Education to report on the number of students arrested as a result of any unlawful activity which occurred on educational property or during a school-related activity.

Status: Died in Committee.

We support legislation which seeks to find more complete and long lasting solutions to handling school disciplinary problems. However, we believe that any such legislation must include adequate standards concerning the disclosure and retention of data collected.


HB652 - Tuition Equity Bill.

Status: Died in Committee

The ACLU of MS supports HB652. The prospect attending college in pursuit of a career is part of the American dream. Unfortunately, many Mississippi graduates who wish to attend college face a major hurdle—unaffordable out-of-state tuition rates—simply because of their parents' immigration status. HB652 would enable all students who attended for at least 2 years and graduated from Mississippi High Schools, to pay in-state tuition rates and make their dream of college a reality.


HB9 - Salary increase for state employees.

Status: Died in Committee

We support HB9 because Mississippi teachers and many state employees are some of the lowest paid in the nation. It's time to invest in people who work day in and out to keep the state of Mississippi functioning at its best potential.


SB2601 - This bill allows voters to register to vote online via a secure electronic application.

Status: Died in Committee

The ACLU supports legislation which grants more access to the polls; electronic voter registration is one convenient alternative to our current system of registration. However, this bill includes language which limits access to all Mississippians. There are too many MS voters who do not have access to in-person absentee voting sites because of disabilities, lack of transportation, or work schedules that conflict with in-person absentee voting hours. Additionally, voters should not have to provide statutory permitted reason or excuse to vote by absentee ballot because disclosure of confidential or sensitive information raises privacy concerns. No-excuse absentee voting should be available to all qualified voters through the mail and by in-person methods.


SB2017HB836 - Requires state agencies to enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Status: SB2017 Died in Committee; HB836 Passed House and Senate as amended. Returns to House for approval.

We support this bill because there are too few opportunities for people with disabilities to be able to get real employment that pays real wages. Therefore, requiring that the state agencies responsible for administering services to people with disabilities also prioritize finding opportunities for their employment is both advantageous and for the good of all Mississippians.


HB 1200 - Requires equal pay for women and men 

Status: Died in Committee

The ACLU of MS supports HB1200 because by working to end discrimination in the workplace, we ensure that all workers — regardless of sex, race, national origin, age or disability—are able to bring home every dollar they rightfully earn.

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