2017 Legislative Tracking: Equality For All

Oppose

HB 101, HB 387 - Public benefits; require drug testing for all recipients of state or local funded benefits.

Any effort to mandate any type of drug testing of public benefit applicants and recipients is 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 poor people 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.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 380-Candidate qualification; remove manslaughter from exception to qualify list.

This legislation would eliminate the exception for those seeking public office of anyone convicted of manslaughter prior to the year 1993. We oppose this bill because it would automatically disenfranchise citizens who have already paid their debt to society and seek to engage in our electoral process.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 415 - Holy Bible; designate as the official state book of Mississippi.

This legislation violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The recognition of any sacred book of a designated religion is a government endorsement of that religion.

Status: Died in committee.

 
HB 748-Illegal immigration; strengthen enforcement provision to prevent.

Immigration enforcement is the sole purview of the federal government. This legislation is outside the scope of Article X of the US Constitution.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 802-Instruments of record; require to be in the English language.

This legislation would prevent citizens of Mississippi not fluent in the English language from access to legal documents in their native language. This bill creates an unnecessary and discriminatory burden on Mississippi's diverse citizenry. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 846-Marriage; provide that certain persons shall not be required to officiate if such action would violate a sincerely held religious belief.

This legislation, as written, is unnecessary as religious freedom is already protected under the First Amendment. This is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 848-Sanctuary policy; prohibit adoption of or enactment of a.

Any legislation that limits further home rule of municipalities in this state is detrimental to the growth of the state. It creates an unfunded mandate for those municipalities to execute federal law with already strained financial resources. It dictates local law enforcement priorities. We are opposed to this legislation.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 963 - Parental involvement in schools; discontinue benefits and public assistance to families failing to maintain.

This bill is an attack on the poor! It would deny benefits to citizens needing economic assistance if they are perceived as not actively participating in their child’s education. We are opposed to this legislation.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 1197, HB 1198, SB 2562, SB 2584 - Anti-abortion

The majority of these bills seek to ban abortion except in medical emergencies. HB 1197 goes a step further as to criminalize women and doctors if an abortion is performed. This is another attempt to limit women’s reproductive rights, rights that were ruled constitutional 44 years ago.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 1239 - License tag; prohibit renewal of by persons who are out of compliance with an order of support.

This legislation would deny persons owing child support to purchase a license tag for their vehicle. This would deny persons the opportunity to earn a living to pay restitution and thereby punishing an individual for owing a debt.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2057 - State Flag; require governmental entities, public colleges and universities and school districts to display or be subject to penalty.

Just as the respective states have certain explicit and implied powers separate from the Federal Government, local governments, public colleges and universities and public school districts have certain explicit and implied powers separate from our state government. This legislation is an overreach of state government at its very worst.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2170- Use of public or grant funds for abortion or family planning services; strictly prohibit.

This legislation would deny funds for basic family planning services provided by anyone in the state. This would deny all men and women the right to make choices concerning their reproductive health.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2176- Illegal immigration; Attorney General to seek federal reimbursement of costs incurred by state.

This legislation would seek federal reimbursement for actions outside of the jurisdiction of the state. Immigration enforcement is not a function of state government.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2188- Unconstitutional federal regulations; prohibit State Department of Education from enforcing.

The US Departments of Justice and Education has stated that discrimination towards transgender persons violates Title IX protections. This legislation defies that what is already law and will allow discrimination in our public schools.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2203- TANF benefits; require applicants to participate in mandatory community service programs to qualify.

This bills creates another hurdle for the poor and Mississippi’s most vulnerable.  Recipients of TANF benefits already struggle with economic hardship. Creating a mandate for community service to receive short term economic assistance is unfair standard to apply to citizens in need.  Such a bill runs afoul of the basic tenants of the Preamble to US Constitution, securing individual liberties and promoting the general welfare.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2205- Public benefits; agencies administering programs for must verify lawful presence in U.S. of applicants for.

Food and shelter are basic needs shared by all of us.  Helping to ensure these basic needs are met is the mark of responsible government.  There is no citizenship requirement for public benefits, just a basic economic need. People should not be denied short term economic assistance if it is needed. This bill is an anti-immigration bill.  

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2227 - Make refugee resettlement contractors responsible for crimes committed by refugees they sponsor.

This legislation is an anti-immigration bill. It is un-American. The bill is designed to discourage refugees of war-torn countries from settling in the state. There is no evidence that refugees are terrorists or linked to terrorists organizations. It is a questionable, let alone unfair, standard to hold individuals, serving as placement contractors, responsible for the character of the individuals they are merely seeking to help settle in a new country. This bill discourages Mississippi’s economic growth.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2577 - Chemical endangerment of a child or fetus; create crime of.

This legislation would make it a crime to have a child while addicted to drugs or alcohol. This bill would discourage certain women from seeking rehabilitation and disproportionally increase our overcrowded prison population. We oppose this legislation. 

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 2710 - Sanctuary cities; prohibit, and require local cooperation with federal immigration control.

This bill would prohibit cities from declaring themselves sanctuary cities, and therefore open to refugees and immigrants. We oppose this bill because proposals to close our doors to refugees are connected to a deeper undercurrent of prejudice, and this bill provides an unfunded mandate that would fall on municipalities to provide assistance to ICE.

Status: Senate passes. Heads to House.

 

Support

HB 9 - The Evelyn Gandy Fair Pay Act; create.

This legislation would make it illegal for employers to use gender as a means for deciding wage. We support this bill because it is consistent with our focus area of equality for all Mississippians, as it would prohibit wage discrimination in the workplace.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 299 - Precinct boundaries; prohibit altering for certain time of.

We support this bill because it would prevent elected officials from redesignating voting precincts in a way that would disenfranchise certain voters or that would not be transparent.

Status: Headed to house floor for voting.

 

HB 300 - Affidavit ballots; revise procedures regulating.

We support this bill because it provides for equal access to the ballot box and empowers voters to become more informed on the process of affidavit ballots.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 301 - Elections; require employers to let employees certain time off to vote in.

Often times, qualified electors are not able to exercise their right to vote due to fear of missed wages or losing their job. We support this bill because it would allow for all qualified voters equal access to the ballot box without barriers or intimidation from employers.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 91 - Breast-feeding; revise and strengthen statues supporting and promoting.

This legislation strengthens and supports a woman’s legal rights to breastfeed her child. We support legislation that seeks to educate and provide protections for individuals exercising their civil liberties.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 212 - Undocumented students; allow to attend college at in-state tuition rates subject to certain conditions.

This bill gives undocumented students access to in-state tuition rates at Mississippi colleges and universities. We support this bill because it would provide equal treatment to those who live in this state, but are undocumented, by providing them the same tuition rates as their peers who graduate Mississippi high schools and attend school in the state.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 228 - Pre-election day voting; authorize.

We support this bill because it would create the Pre-Election Day Voting Act, which would help to extend the right to vote to all citizens, irrespective of disability, occupation, or travel. All citizens should be entitled to the same right to vote, even if they cannot physically be present on Election Day.

Status: Passed in the House. Headed to Senate floor for a vote.

 

HB 249 - Early voting; authorize for qualified electors otherwise unable to vote on election day.

We support this bill because it would authorize a 21 day early voting period for all qualified electors, who otherwise would not be able to vote due to being absent on election day. This process would aid in affording all citizens their right to vote.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 317 - Disabilities, persons with; modernize terminology used to refer to.

This bill replaces certain offensive terminology used in the legislature to refer to those with disabilities. We support this bill as all human being deserve the right to be treated with respect.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 327/328 - Right to vote; restore to people who committed nonviolent disqualifying crimes upon meeting certain requirements.

These bills would put in place a process to restore the right to vote to certain individuals convicted of nonviolent crimes. We support this means of both criminal justice reform, and restoring equality to all Mississippians.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 373 - Online voter registration; revise to allow first-time voters to register through

This bill would establish an online voter registration system. We support expanding access of the right to vote to all citizens.

Status: Passed in committee. Headed to House for floor vote.

 

HB 475 - The Public Transparency of Emails and Calendars Act; create.

This bill would create the Public Transparency of Emails and Calendars Act, which would require that any emails or calendars involving legislation from government officials be kept in the public record for a period of no less than 10 years. We support this bill because it promotes transparency and accountability.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 498 - Automatic voter registration; authorize for those who apply for the issuance, renewal or change of address of motor vehicle driver's licenses.

This bill would create a system that would automatically register those eligible to vote upon their application for a Driver’s License or ID card. We support this bill because it promotes greater access to the cornerstone of our democracy - voting.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 531- Pre-election day voting; authorize

We support this bill because it would create the Pre-Election Day Voting Act, which would help to extend the right to vote to all citizens, irrespective of disability, occupation, or travel. All citizens should be entitled to the same right to vote, even if they cannot physically be present on Election Day.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 619- Suffrage; provide restoration upon meeting certain criteria.

We support this bill because it would restore suffrage to individuals convicted of crimes after they have met certain criteria.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 635- Police Safety Act of 2017; create.

This bill would create the Police Safety Act of 2017, an act that would set guidelines and procedures for the use of body cameras by police officers. We support this bill as it helps hold officers accountable for their interactions with citizens, and it provides protection against recording of first amendment protesters.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 654-MS Home Corporation Act; include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited forms of discrimination under.

As part of our 2017 legislative package, this bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the MS Home Corporation Act. Adding these protections would help to protect these Mississippians from housing discrimination. We support this bill because it stands for equal rights for all Mississippians

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 668-Mississippi Civil Rights Act; create.

A part of our 2017 legislative package, this bill would create the Mississippi Civil Rights Act, a law mandating that all citizens of Mississippi be given the same fundamental human rights, and offering protections for when those rights are violated. We support this legislation as it is the fundamental right of every citizen of the United States to have fair and equal protection under the law.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 723-  Hate Crimes Law; revise application of.

This bill would add to the criteria for application of the hate crime law to include sexual orientation and those unarmed and fleeing from a crime scene. We support this bill because it is a step in the right direction for LGBT equality. 

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 914-Right to vote; restore to people who committed disqualifying crimes once they complete all sentencing requirements.

This bill would restore the right to vote to individuals who have committed crimes upon the completion of their sentencing requirements. We support this bill because suffrage is a fundamental right for all citizens, and it should not be lost just because you have committed a crime.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2081 - Official State Flag; change design to that of the "Magnolia Flag."

This bill would change the flag of the state of Mississippi to the Magnolia Flag. We support removing the legacy of hatred and state-sponsored oppression that is represented by the confederate battle emblem on our current state flag. This new flag would represent equality, and distancing our state from its tattered past.

Status: Died in committee.


2017 Legislative Tracking: Criminal Justice Reform

Oppose

HB 10 - Retail businesses; those that accept credit cards for payment shall have cameras to record persons using the cards.

There must be a balance between the privacy and security of citizens using their credit and debit cards. Our concern is that citizens’ privacy and security may be compromised with this type of technology.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 34 - Parole eligibility; bring forward code section for purposes of possible amendment.

This legislation brings forward all the code sections pertaining to parole eligibility, which, in a legislative process, can be amended with language that would undermine the progress started to reduce the state’s overcrowded prison population.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 35 - State inmate eligible for release, certain; require to receive certain notification regarding searches after inmate is released.

This legislation allows for people who have been released on parole to be searched, as well as their property, without a search warrant. This bill violates the Fourth Amendment. Persons, including those who are on parole, have constitutional protections against arbitrary searches.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 36, HB 41 - Earned time allowance; prohibit inmates convicted of murder or manslaughter from obtaining.

This bill contributes to our overcrowded prison population by stopping certain inmates from obtaining time already earned, thereby keeping them from parole eligibility.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 66 - Conjugal visits; prohibit for offenders committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections.

Conjugal visits, as with any visitation, helps prisoners maintain their humanity while incarcerated. Therefore, such visits help in the transition to contributing positively to society once they are released. No legislative act should deny that opportunity for true rehabilitation.       

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 363 - Dismissal of probation revocation charge when probation revocation hearing is not held within certain period; remove requirement of.

The initial purpose of a 30-day time period for probation revocation hearings were to make sure that those hearings were held in an expeditious manner. To remove that time period would take away the accountability required of a fair judicial system.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 414 - DUI Imprisonment; require 48 hours minimum for 18 to 21 year olds.

The current statute allows up to 48 hours of imprisonment upon conviction of a first time DUI offense, regardless of age. We are opposed to the current statute as written, therefore, we oppose any legislation that makes this law more restrictive.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 505 - Highway Patrol training class; require increase in sex offender registration to fund.

This legislation would increase the registration fees for sex offenders. The purpose for the increase is to create a fund to finance Highway Patrol Trooper Schools. This places a discriminatory burden on one group of formerly incarcerated individuals and put them in a vulnerable position of being incarcerated again for non-compliance.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 509 - Driver’s education; require courses taught in schools to include program developed by DPS on how to properly respond to law enforcement when stopped.

This legislation would allow the Department of Public Safety to develop a course for new drivers to teach them how to “properly” respond to law enforcement when stopped. The course material is not specified in the legislation. If the rights of citizens are not thoroughly explained in the course, then the word “properly” is subjective and not in the best interest of the citizens of this state.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 615, HB 634, HB 640, HB 645, HB 646, HB 647, HB 747, HB 754, HB 755, SB 2129, SB 2469 - Enhanced penalties for threats or attacks on law enforcement and other emergency personnel.

This series of legislation is designed to create tougher penalties for those who attack law enforcement officers, on or off duty. It provides unbalanced protection for persons based on their chosen occupation. These bills also have the dangerous potential to limit First Amendment rights to those who protest police actions. They are unnecessary as police are already protected. These measures prioritize police over people.

Status: House passes HB 645 (85-31), which heads to the Senate. SB 2469 has been transmitted to the House. All others died in committee.

 

HB 627 - Employment Protection Act; revise and authorize law enforcement to request presentation of certain identification.

This legislation seeks to revise a law that has been ruled unconstitutional in federal court.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 628 - Bail schedule for courts; create.

This legislation sets a fixed bail schedule. Bail assessments, although legally permissible, do not take into consideration indigence and can be excessive for the poorest of defendants. This would promote an unconstitutional system of debtors’ prisons.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 638, SB 2280-Death penalty; revise methods by which may be carried out.

This legislation would allow sedatives, like Valium, to be used to replace anesthetic drugs in executing a death sentence. This protocol would violate the Eighth Amendment and inflict the condemned and family to painful, cruel, and inhumane treatment.

Status: SB 2280 died in committee. House passes HB 638 (75-43). 

 

HB 713 - “Scarlet Letter DUI Plate Act”; create.

This legislation is excessive punishment for a DUI conviction. It will result in unnecessary stops for an individual who has served their time for the offense. It further infringes upon the privacy rights of Mississippi citizens.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 758 - Expunction; authorize only upon a showing of innocence based on reliable evidence.

This legislation seeks to perpetually penalize an offender. The act of expunction is not a re-trial or appeal of an adjudicated case. This legislation would make it harder for persons to get their records expunged and be productive citizens. 

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 828, HB 829, SB 2144 - Exclude all violent crimes from parole eligibility.

This series of legislation makes all violent crime ineligible for parole, including those that do not have life sentences. This goes against efforts to decrease our overcrowded prison population.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2027 - Gang criminal activity; revise offense of and civil forfeiture for.

This legislation unnecessarily amends the current Mississippi Street Gang Act. It makes it a felony offense for membership in a gang, with no eligibility for parole, regardless if said member has not committed any crimes that may be attributed to that particular gang. We oppose legislation that can arbitrarily define what constitutes a “gang”, under the guise of creating a safe society. In addition, this legislation disproportionately impacts communities of color, making them more susceptible to being unfairly and unnecessarily harassed and targeted by law enforcement.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2227 - Make refugee resettlement contractors responsible for crimes committed by refugees they sponsor.

This legislation is designed to discourage refugees of war-torn countries from settling in the state. To hold individuals, serving as placement contractors, responsible for the character of the individuals they are merely seeking to help settle in a new country is a standard that Mississippi should not create.

Status: Died in committee.

 


Support

HB 42 - Food, toiletry items and undergarments; prohibit ban of by the Department of Corrections if subjected to a search.

This legislation would remove the ban on food, toiletry items, and undergarments for prisoners if the items are subject to a search. We support this bill because prisoners have the right to basic humane treatment.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 63 - Mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed by offenders; revise which offenders are eligible for.

This bill would allow for early release of certain offenders, thus reducing prison populations. Non-violent offenders would be required to serve at least 25% of sentence and violent offenders at least 50% of sentence. This legislation helps to reduce over-incarceration through sentencing reform.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 64 - Violent offenders, certain; may be paroled by Parole Board if sentencing judge authorizes parole consideration.

We support this bill because it would expand those eligible for parole, thus reducing prison populations and allowing those convicted to reenter into society.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 65 - Inmates convicted of capital offenses; provide parole eligibility after certain requirements are met.

We support this bill because it would open the door for individuals convicted of capital offenses to be released on parole. This would help to provide more rehabilitation opportunities, versus incarcerating individuals indefinitely.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 67 - Parole and Post-release supervision; make various revisions regarding.

We support this bill because it expands those eligible to be released from prison on parole and gives alternatives to prison for certain crimes, thus helping to curb the effects of mass incarceration.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 68 - Parole eligibility; authorize for offender 60 years or older who has served at least 10 years of sentence for drug trafficking.

We support this bill because it would provide a new opportunity for parole to individuals who otherwise would remain imprisoned. Reforming parole policies allows us to decrease prison populations while giving rehabilitated individuals back their freedom.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 69 - Parole eligibility; provide for offender who commits crime before the age of 26 after serving certain percentage of sentence.

This bill affords individuals that committed a crime before the age of 26 the opportunity for parole. We support this bill because it would help to ease the strain of over-incarceration, specifically of young people.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 77 - Case plans for nonviolent inmates; require certain programs be placed within.

This bill would mandate that the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) complete a case plan for all nonviolent inmates that includes certain rehabilitative programs. We support this bill because it would hold the MDOC accountable for ensuring inmates are being rehabilitated in order to break the incarceration cycle, and ultimately reduce incarceration rates.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 78 - Case plans for inmates who committed capital offenses; require certain programs be placed within.

This bill would mandate that the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) complete a case plan for all inmates convicted of capital offenses that includes certain rehabilitative programs and screenings. We support this bill because it would hold the MDOC accountable for ensuring inmates are being rehabilitated in order to break the incarceration cycle.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 79 - Case plans for inmates who committed violent offenses; require certain programs be placed within.

This bill would mandate that the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) complete a case plan for all inmates convicted of violent offenses that includes certain rehabilitative programs and screenings. We support this bill because it would hold the MDOC accountable for ensuring inmates are being rehabilitated in order to break the incarceration cycle.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 80 - Conjugal visits; require Department of Corrections to provide for married inmates.

This bill would allow married inmates to be allowed conjugal visits with their spouses. We support any bill that restores certain basic human rights to those convicted of crimes. Prisoners should not be denied their rights by virtue of their imprisonment.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 81 - Department of Corrections; require implementation of an Extended Family Visitation Program for eligible offenders.

This bill would implement an extended family visitation program in state prisons. We support any bill that restores certain basic human rights to those convicted of crimes. Prisoners with families and children deserve the right to stay in contact with them.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 82 - Mississippi Prison Industries; require to pay inmates federal minimum wage for inmate labor.

This bill would mandate that the Mississippi Prison Industries pay prisoners federal minimum wage for labor done while incarcerated. We support this bill because we believe prisoners should be guaranteed basic worker’s rights. Paying prisoners minimum wage gives them an opportunity to provide for families, make restitution payments or other fees, and become rehabilitated by learning the legal way to work and have a source of income.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 83 - Corrections; authorize to administer the "Halfway House Grant Program."

This bill would provide funds to any nonprofit organization that focuses on providing support to offenders and their families in the effort to aid reentry into society. We support this bill because creating reentry opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals greatly reduces the risk of recidivism.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 166 - Juvenile detention centers; require a certain number of hours of daily education and prohibit use of solitary confinement.

This bill would reform juvenile detention by prohibiting solitary confinement for youth and mandating detention education programs. We support this bill because it gives young people the right to an education and to fair and humane treatment.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 188 - Mississippi Student Safety Act"; prevent certain student restraint and seclusion procedures in schools.

We support this bill because the use of restraint and seclusion methods puts children at risk and does not keep them safe in public schools.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 393 - Parole; require parole board to provide for certain nonviolent offenders upon recommendation of sentencing judge.

This bill would require parole of a nonviolent offender who has served at least 25% of his/her sentence. We support legislation that helps to reduce prison populations and reintroduce offenders into society.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 401 -Paroled offenders; prohibit automatic arrest and revocation of parole for being near the vicinity of a firearm under certain circumstances.

This bill would prohibit the warrantless arrest of a parolee based solely upon being in the vicinity of a firearm that the parolee does not personally own. We support legislation that helps to reduce prison populations, and allows individuals their freedoms back upon release.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 541-Cell site simulator device; require law enforcement agencies to obtain warrant before using.

This bill would require law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant before they can use a Cell Site Stimulator device, a device that can be used to intercept or collect data used by cell phones. We support this bill because it would protect privacy rights of citizens and help hold law enforcement officers accountable.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 556- Conflict resolution; require school districts to report to SDE on positive behavioral intervention practices.

This bill would require school districts to submit a report each year to the state department of education describing how the district utilizes certain practices as it relates to student discipline. We support this bill because it promotes transparency and accountability.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 558- School districts; require to report use of alternatives to suspension included in district's discipline plans to SDE.

This bill would require school districts to submit a report each year to the state department of education describing how the district utilizes practices other than suspension, as it pertains to student discipline. We support this bill because it holds school districts accountable and encourages alternative methods of discipline other than removing the student from the classroom.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 617/644- Expungement; revise list of felonies that may be authorized for.

This Bill would allow those convicted of nonviolent felonies the opportunity to petition the court for expunction of their record. We support this bill because it allows those convicted and rehabilitated to obtain jobs and function in society without the weight of their conviction hindering them.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 618- Expungement; revise list of crimes that qualify for.

This bill would revise and expand the list of crimes that qualify for expunction. We support this bill because it promotes reentry reform, allowing formerly incarcerated individuals to have a sustained quality of life.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 635, SB 2339 - Police Safety Act of 2017; create.

A part of our 2017 Legislative Package and police accountability reform, we support these measures because they call for statewide policy on use of body cameras by law enforcement while striking the right balance of privacy protections and public access.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 672 - Debtor's prison; authorize for failure to pay fines, fees and assessments.

This bill would outlaw the practice of debtors’ prisons in Mississippi, which would protect those who cannot pay fines and court costs from imprisonment. This bill would also prevent interest from accruing on fines and costs while individuals are incarcerated. The Supreme Court has already ruled that these practices are unconstitutional. We support this bill because being poor is not a crime.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 717 - Nonviolent offenders; authorize reduction of sentences for passage of end-of-course subject area tests by the offenders.

This bill would allow nonviolent offenders the opportunity to reduce their sentences after meeting certain criteria and passing subject area tests. We support this bill because it affords the opportunity for individuals who no longer pose a threat to society to be released from prison.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 719 - MS Bureau of Investigation; authorize to investigate law enforcement personnel placed on administrative leave.

This bill would authorize the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations to investigate law enforcement officers placed on administrative leave. Although not a perfect solution, we support this bill because this system would create more opportunities for police accountability. 

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 727 - Expunction; grant automatically for first time offenders.

This bill would automatically grant expunction for first time offenders. We support this bill because one indiscretion should not affect a person for the perpetuity of his/her life.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 735 - Misdemeanor arrests; require release within 24 hours if not seen by a judge within 24 hours.

This bill would require an individual to be presented before the court within 24 hours of arrest for a misdemeanor or subsequently be released. We support this bill because it reduces over-incarceration.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 736 - Felony expungement; authorize for first time offenses.

This bill would provide an opportunity for first time felony offenders to be given an opportunity to petition for an expungement of their record. We support this bill because one indiscretion should not affect a person for the perpetuity of his/her life.

 

HB 738 - Felony expungement; revise age.

This bill would allow individuals to petition the court for an expungement of felony records committed before an individual turns 35. We support this bill because one youthful indiscretion should not affect a person for the perpetuity of his/her life.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 745 - Expungement; require Administrative Office of Courts to create a standard form for.

This bill would require the administrative office of the court to create a standard form for expungement of records. We support this bill because it would streamline the process for a person to have their records cleared.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 751 - Circuit and county courts; remove prohibition that prevents courts from suspending sentence once offender begins serving such sentence.

This bill would remove the prohibition of courts to suspend sentences just because an individual has begun serving his/her sentence. We support this bill.

Status: Passed in committee. Headed to House floor for a vote.

 

HB 752 - Sentencing of habitual offenders to maximum term of imprisonment; exempt certain offenders who committed offense where no bodily injury occurred.

This bill would add certain stipulation to mandatory minimum sentences in order to decrease the number of individuals incarcerated. We support this bill which would help reduce our prison population.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 756/SB 2054 - Volunteer Search; require peace officer to obtain written consent before effectuating.

As part of our 2017 Legislative Package and police accountability reform, we support these bills because written consent protects law enforcement without impeding police work, and protects citizens’ constitutional right to refuse an unwarranted search. 

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 768, SB 2302-  Employment application form; prohibit criminal background information from being asked on.

These measures would remove the criminal background section on an application for employment. We support this bill because it reduces the risk of discriminating against formerly incarcerated individuals, giving them a fair chance at the employment process.

Status: HB 768 died in committee. SB 2302 passed in committee and is headed to the full Senate for a vote.

 

HB 914 - Right to vote; restore to people who committed disqualifying crimes once they complete all sentencing requirements.

This bill would restore the right to vote to individuals who have committed crimes upon the completion of their sentencing requirements. We support this bill because suffrage is a fundamental right for all citizens, and it should not be lost just because you have committed a crime. 

Status: Died in committee.

 

HB 1033 - Re-entry council; implement certain recommendations thereof.

This bill would prohibit city, county, and circuit courts from incarcerating or detaining a person because of inability to pay. We support this bill because being poor is not a crime, and no one should have to face jail time simply because they can't afford to pay fees and fines. This practice is known as debtors' prisons. The Supreme Court has already ruled that this practice is unconstitutional. 
 
Status: On House Calendar for vote.
 

HC 34 - Constitution; amend to provide for the automatic restoration of suffrage for certain crimes.

This resolution would amend the Mississippi Constitution to automatically restore suffrage to individuals who have lost their voting rights due to a criminal conviction. We support this resolution as voting is a fundamental right for all citizens upon which all democracy rests.

Status: Died in committee.

 

HC 27 - Constitution; amend to require actual cause or physical evidence before a search warrant is issued.

This resolution would amend the Mississippi Constitution to prohibit law enforcement officers from obtaining a search warrant without having actual cause or physical evidence, increasing the requirement from probable cause. We support this bill because citizens of Mississippi have a right to privacy and to be protected from unlawful search and seizure.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2054 - Search not incident to arrest; require consent.

This legislation would establish a written consent requirement before law enforcement officers can conduct a search of a vehicle. One of the ACLU of MS proposals, this legislation would ensure individuals are aware of their rights regarding a voluntary search of their vehicles, and would help hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2071 - School resource officers; require uniform statewide training.

We support this bill because it would require uniform statewide training for school resource officers. Law enforcement officers who are placed in schools should be trained on how to deal with behavioral issues in schools without criminalizing the students.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2080 - Juvenile sentencing; provide criteria for determining parole eligibility and require hearing before imposing life without parole.

This bill would allow eligibility for parole to certain individuals who were convicted of crimes before they turned 18. We support not allowing youthful indiscretions to be the result of a lifetime in prison.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2104 - Income tax; authorize a credit for taxpayers that employ certain supervised offenders.

We support this bill because it encourages employers to hire certain supervised offenders, which provides for formerly incarcerated individuals to make a living and have a quality of life. Providing gainful employment to formerly incarcerated individuals helps reduce the risk of recidivism.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2097 - Habitual offenders; revise method of determining whether a felony triggers sentencing as.

This bill would allow a person to be sentenced as a habitual offender only if that person has been sentenced to and served separate terms of one year or more for a felony. We support this bill because it would reduce the number of individuals who are subject to mandatory minimum sentences.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2099 - Habitual offender; offenses that trigger enhanced sentencing must have been committed when a person was 18 years of age or older.

This bill specifies that offenses which trigger enhanced sentencing must have happened after the individual was 18 years of age. This would prohibit youthful indiscretions from mandating long prison terms in a person’s adult life.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2122- Expunction; allow for all nonviolent felonies.

This Bill would allow those convicted of nonviolent felonies the opportunity to petition the court for expunction of their record. We support this bill because it allows those convicted and rehabilitated to obtain jobs and function in society without the weight of their conviction hindering them.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2126-School Resource Officers; require uniform statewide training program.

We support this bill because it would require uniform statewide training for school resource officers. Law enforcement officers who are placed in schools should be trained on how to deal with behavioral issues in schools without criminalizing the students.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2147- Offender case plans; MDOC to develop for parole-eligible offenders convicted on or after July 1, 2014.

This bill would mandate that the Department of Corrections (MDOC) complete a case plan for all inmates that includes certain rehabilitative programs. We support this bill because it would hold the MDOC accountable for ensuring inmates are being rehabilitated in order to break the incarceration cycle and reduce risk for recidivism.

Status: Died in committee.

 

SB 2162- Arrest warrant; opportunity for probable cause hearing before issuance

This bill would provide the opportunity for a probable cause hearing before a judge issues an arrest warrant. We support this bill because it holds officers accountable to have established a sufficient legal grounds for probable cause before an arrest is made of an individual.

 

SB 2491 - Appointment of special prosecutor; provide standard procedure.

As part of our 2017 Legislative package, we support this bill because the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle cases of police involved shootings minimizes bias and increases credibility of the criminal justice system.

Status: Died in committee.

 

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