Hall: I can’t support Initiative 42

Think back to the “personhood” initiative, which proponents said would outlaw abortion. It was so poorly written, concern over the unintended consequences led many conservative leaders to step out against it. And when the vote was tallied, Mississippi voters — among the most conservative in the nation — defeated it soundly. Not for any pro-choice reason but because “personhood,” as it was written, was bad policy due to the possibility of too many unintended consequences.

And that’s my hangup with Initiative 42. As it is written, it allows for too many unintended consequences.

Even Initiative 42’s most strident supporters — including Barksdale and Keith — have called 42 the state’s “best, last option” for full funding of MAEP. Most proponents know the initiative has flaws, but they have worked so hard for full funding of MAEP in the past to no avail that they feel the merits outweigh the flaws. They are putting their faith in the judiciary since the Legislature has failed so brilliantly over the years. I share their frustrations. And a large part of me even shares their having more faith in the judiciary than in the Legislature when it comes to ensuring consistent full funding of MAEP.

But I still just can’t do it. I can’t support Initiative 42.

Sam Hall
Clarion Ledger
10/25/15