Statement on House Bill 1020

The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus stands in solidarity with the residents of Hinds County and its elected officials in opposition to House Bill 1020, and any other demeaning and divisive legislation introduced with the intent to create a separate legal system to operate within the boundaries of Hinds County.

House Bill 1020 would expand the jurisdiction of the Capitol Complex Improvement District (CCID), now protected by Capitol Police, and create an inferior court system in Hinds County.  If passed, the bill authorizes the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to appoint judges and the Attorney General to appoint prosecutors for the newly created court. The idea that local judicial power should be shifted from the voters of Hinds County is unjust and far too much like the separate but equal policies of the past.

The bill, which is in excess of 1000 pages, is the latest display of power and partisan politics aimed at the City of Jackson. We were all elected to represent our individual districts and to work collectively to make Mississippi an easier place to live and thrive.  House Bill 1020 proposes, however, to do the exact opposite by forcefully stripping power from elected judges, ultimately disenfranchising Hinds County voters.

Our fellow lawmakers should focus their efforts on passing legislation to improve our Capitol City, the state and her people.