Education funding supporters sue top officials

Education funding supporters sue top officials

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The group behind Initiative 42 filed a lawsuit Monday against Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

The lawsuit, filed in Hinds County Circuit Court, claimed the wording on the state's ballots for this ballot initiative were not correct or legal.

According to the lawsuit, the state constitution requires a ballot to include the initiative's full text and funding statement. As it is now, the ballot does not provide either.

Initiative 42 is the education funding initiative, which would require the state legislature to adequately fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program or settle the matter in Hinds County Chancery Court. This initiative would fund the program through the state's economic growth, according to the organization back it, Better Schools, Better Jobs.

The legislature, for the first time in the state's history, created an alternative to that ballot initiative, referred to as 42-A. It seeks to fund "effective" schools without judicial enforcement.

The language of the initiatives are similar, although their funding approaches are different. That is one reason the Initiative 42 supporters said the constitution should be followed so that the ballot offers the full text of their initiative.

Hosemann said absentee ballots are already printed and will be sent to voting members of the military Saturday, which leaves little to no time for changes.

Hosemann said he expected to be in court Wednesday to respond to this lawsuit.