GREAT INFORMATION from Josh Harkins about the potential dangers of Ballot 42. Here is what he had to say:
Initiative 42:I will be blunt about how I feel about Initiative 42. It is NOT GOOD!
I feel it is important for you to have a voice in your government. That is what makes this country great. The people have a voice and they use that voice by voting to send representatives to the house and senate to represent their interests. Initiative 42 takes that fundamental right and flushes it down the toilet. A judge in Hinds County, that most of you have NO ability to vote in or out, will have the authority to decide what is an “adequate and efficient” system of education. This, on its face, is bad policy. His or her definition may be different than your definition of “adequate and efficient.” It is simply not prudent to give the authority to an individual that is not elected by 99% of the citizens of this state to spend a large portion of the state’s money how he or she sees fit. That is why the constitution delegates the authority to appropriate funds and levy taxes to the legislative branch, a representative body OF THE PEOPLE!
We have around 106 budget items in state government. Almost 3/4 of funds we allocate in the appropriation process are spent on Education (MAEP and items we fund outside of MAEP), Community/Junior Colleges and IHL (universities) and Medicaid. We fund the rest of government, around 102 budget items, with about 25% of the total budget.
This will give the judge unprecedented power to do what he or she deems necessary to have an “adequate and efficient” education system. What does that mean? Let’s think about it:
– The judge could take new monies intended for “A” districts and spread it around to failing districts.
– The judge could decide that your county or district is not taxing at an “adequate” millage rate and mandate that all districts raise millage to a certain level.
– A judge could decide in an attempt to become more “efficient” and decide that performing districts should be consolidated, against the will of the citizens in that district, to bring in one or several other districts.
Folks, there is NOTHING in the language of this initiative that restricts a Chancery Judge in Hinds County from executing any of these scenarios. The initiative does NOT mention or reference the words: funding, growth, phase-in or MAEP. Do not take my word for it, read it for yourself.
I would encourage you to vote NO on changing the constitution and THEN, vote for Initiative 42A. This will leave the funding with the legislature and if you do not like what your representative or senator is doing then you have the opportunity to vote them out. That is why this republic form of government is the best form of government. You decide, not one person.
See the attached photo of sample ballot. This is what will be on the ballot.
My friend, Russell Latino, has been traveling all over this state talking about the dangers of this initiative. Check his Facebook page out to get some of his perspective.
Senator Josh Harkins represents Mississippi Senate District 20.