The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC) announced their 2021 Legislative policy agenda on Wednesday. The caucus is made up of House and Senate members and are dedicated to the advancement of legislation that impacts the state’s African American community.
The year’s stances focus on matters of healthcare, education, criminal justice, matters of finance and economic justice as well as election reform.
Health Care Agenda:
- Expand Medicaid utilizing the Affordable Care Act model.
- Introduce legislation to increase elderly, disabled and traumatic brain injury waivers to eliminate the waiting list for those services.
- Introduce legislation to implement PACE (Program for All Inclusive Care for the Disabled and Elderly).
- Allow Medicaid recipients to receive four brand name prescriptions and two generic a month.
- Increase fee to private reimbursement level for children on Medicaid who receive dental services.
- Allow for reimbursement of ADHD related services by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ ECHO project.
- Provide twelve month postpartum care for Medicaid recipients.
- Modify existing rules to require that Medicaid cover long-acting reversible contraceptives for women.
- Oppose efforts to lift the restrictions requiring that a nurse practitioner provide services under the supervision of a doctor.
- Increase number of chemical dependency beds in state healthcare system.
- Fully fund MAEP.
- Advocate for 100% connectivity, broadband access and fiber optic capacities statewide
- Increase number of teachers’ aides in C, D and F districts.
- Provide incentive packages for teachers with five years or more teaching experience who agree to educate students in failing schools.
- Direct the Department of Education to change the requirements of the ACT and PRAXIS exams based on research and guided principles.
- Increase pay of teachers to southeastern average.
- Devise plan to provide free community college for all Mississippi High School graduates.
- Support the teaching of vocational, agricultural, forestry, civics and home economics in public school.
- Seek increased funding for the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program.
Economic Justice Agenda:
- Fully fund the 29-million-dollar Ayers Settlement.
- Address disparities in lending for housing by implementing laws that prohibit financial institutions from engaging in discriminatory practices.
- Modify the mechanism for which money for the Capitol Complex for the city of Jackson are allocated.
- Implement policies and procedures to increase the participation of minority sub-grantees with DHS.
Criminal Justice Agenda:
- Create and fund a state public defender system for indignant defendants in criminal cases.
- Eliminate criminal penalties for possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana.
- Legalize recreational marijuana in order that its possession can be taxed and regulated by government on the municipal, county and state levels.
- Oppose any and all efforts to implement legislation commonly referred to as “gang bills”.
Election Reform Agenda:
- Develop procedures for “no-excuse early voting”.
- Implement online voter registration.
- Create a system to restore voting rights for people who have served a sentence.
View the full agenda below: