4/16/21 - Parole Eligibility Bill Waits | Initiative 65 Hearing: Underlying Factors | Poetry Out Loud 2021
Community leaders urge Governor Reeves to sign a parole eligibility bill that’s been sitting on his desk since the end of the legislative session.
Then, while the arguments in the case against Initiative 65 focus on process, under the surface the subject of the matter - medical marijuana - is playing a significant role.
Plus, this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition might look different, but the result is familiar.
A bill to expand parole eligibility in Mississippi is waiting to be signed into law by the Governor. It's a measure advocates say could reduce prison overcrowding, reduce corrections spending, and help reconnect families. Yet, since being passed with bi-partisan in the legislature weeks ago, the bill has remained in limbo awaiting a signature. Pastor C. J. Rhodes of Mount Helm Baptist Church in Jackson advocates for prison reform in Mississippi. He tells our Kobee Vance the bill provides the opportunity to restore families. Russ Latino, President of Empower Mississippi, says the bill would ease overcrowding, and free up needed resources to focus on those who actually pose a danger to communities.
Initiative 65 - the constitutional amendment ballot referendum establishing a medical marijuana program in Mississippi - hangs in the balance following a Supreme Court hearing this month. It is one of many ballot referendums - some successful, some not - that have gone through the same process outlined by the Mississippi Constitution. Mississippi's Voter ID law passed the same way. Others - like the personhood amendment or Initiative 42 to fully fund the MAEP - failed but made it to the ballot in similar fashion. But 65 - with the controversial subject of medical marijuana lying under the surface - drawing the eye of scrutiny over the initiative process.
Matt Steffey is a professor of Constitutional Law at the Mississippi College School of Law. In part two of his conversation with our Michael Guidry, Steffey argues once you look past the narrow argument of constructionist interpretation, the underlying factors behind the case rise to the surface.
This year's Poetry Out Loud competition had a different feel to it due to the coronavirus pandemic. Contestants, who usually compete together in regional and state finals, presented their recitations alone - in front of cameras. But, rising to the top of a crowded field of 947 students was a familiar name and voice to the Mississippi Poetry Out Loud community - Morgan Love, who you just heard. The senior from the Mississippi School for the Arts followed her 2020 win by capturing this year's title. She shares more on her experience and what lies ahead with our Michael Guidry.