Jackson city leaders pass resolution opposing House Bill 1020, calling the bill unconstitutional and disrespectful

Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 9:07 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - House Bill 1020 continues to receive a lot of backlash, this time… from the Jackson City Council.

During a special called meeting on Friday, the council passed a resolution saying they oppose the bill.

The council also voted to give a copy of the resolution to every lawmaker in the House and Senate.

Under this bill, the Mississippi Supreme Court would appoint judges to hear and civil and criminal cases in the Capital Complex Improvement District.

The legislation would also expand CCID to County Line Road.

The bill states the Attorney General’s Office would be responsible for appointing prosecutors to take on these cases, and public defenders would work underneath the Mississippi Public Defenders.

City leaders question the timing of this proposed takeover, calling the bill disrespectful and racist.

“I am in favor of trying to keep Jackson safe, but not this way,” said Councilwoman Angelique Lee, who represents Ward 2. “I’m also opposed to how the boundaries are drawn. It appears racist on its face, and it is not equally representative of the citizenry Jackson, Mississippi, which is majority black.”

“People of Hinds County, city of Jackson have their rights and their rights can’t be taken away, won’t be taken away without a fight,” said Councilman Vernon Hartley, who represents Ward 2.

“At the end of the day, we have to deal with the culture that is at the State Capitol, which is, the city of Jackson has their own Representatives, their own elected officials, let them deal figure this stuff out and if they can’t do it we’ll come in and takeover,” said Councilman Aaron Banks, who represents to Ward 5. “At the end of the day, all of this is about them wanting to take over and put their own district within the Capital City of Jackson and this is our home. Instead of embracing us, they just want to takeover, and we oppose that.”

City leaders held a press conference immediately following the council meeting, showing a unified front that they all disagree with this bill.

“A lot of these bills that affect our city are being introduced without any input from the people who actually live here, and the elected representatives that serve with the other members of the legislature,” said Senator Davis Blount, who represents District 29, which includes Hinds County.

Lawmakers have until February ninth to vote on this bill. If it doesn’t come up for a vote by that time the bill will die.

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