Group behind the effort calls for special session.

The group “Healthcare for Mississippi” has suspended its campaign to expand Medicaid in the Magnolia State by way of a ballot initiative. This comes after the state Supreme Court ruled last week against the initiative process, overturning the medical marijuana amendment approved by voters in November 2020.

A statement from the group said, in part, that they are “reluctantly suspending” their campaign to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot in the wake of Friday’s decision, adding, “until there is once again a functional ballot measure process in Mississippi.”

Leaders of the effort said in the statement that they fully support the call for a special session to restore the “constitutional right of Mississippians to vote directly on issues of importance,” including Medicaid expansion, “and we will pursue every avenue possible to restore the rights of voters in this state.”

Even if a special session was called and the initiative process was taken up by the Legislature, the next scheduled statewide General Election is not until November 2022.

Healthcare for Mississippi’s campaign “Yes on 76” was being endorsed by the Mississippi Hospital Association along with a number of liberal special interest groups, including the Mississippi Center for Justice, Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP, and the ACLU of Mississippi.

The group kicked off its signature collection efforts for Initiative 76 just last week, only days before the Friday ruling on Initiative 65.