Mississippi, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Amendment

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Mississippi, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Amendment
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273
(1) Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by the Legislature or by initiative of the people.
[...]
(3) The people reserve unto themselves the power to propose and enact constitutional amendments by initiative. An initiative to amend the Constitution may be proposed by a petition signed over a twelve-month period by qualified electors equal in number to at least twelve percent (12%) of the votes for all candidates for Governor in the last gubernatorial election. The signatures of the qualified electors from any congressional district shall not exceed one-fifth (1/5) of the total number of signatures required to qualify an initiative petition for placement upon the ballot. If an initiative petition contains signatures from a single congressional district which exceed one-fifth (1/5) of the total number of required signatures, the excess number of signatures from that congressional district shall not be considered by the Secretary of State in determining whether the petition qualifies for placement on the ballot.
[...]
(6) [...] A constitutional initiative may be adopted by a majority vote of each house of the Legislature. If the initiative is adopted, amended or rejected by the Legislature; or if no action is taken within four (4) months of the date that the initiative is filed with the Legislature, the Secretary of State shall place the initiative on the ballot for the next statewide general election.[...]
(7) If the Legislature amends an initiative, the amended version and the original initiative shall be submitted to the electors. An initiative or legislative alternative must receive a majority of the votes thereon and not less than forty percent (40%) of the total votes cast at the election at which the measure was submitted to be approved. If conflicting initiatives or legislative alternatives are approved at the same election, the initiative or legislative alternative receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall prevail.

Source: Mississippi Constitution of 1890 (accessed 7 Juli 2017)

Subject Matter:

Enacting constitutional amendments via popular initiative

Actors

Author:
Citizen
Initiator:
Electorate : 12% of the number of voters for Governor at the last gubernatorial election with no more than 1/5 of the total number coming from any single congressional district must sign the petition (Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273, (3)).
Decision maker:
Electorate : The legislature has the opportunity to propose its own amendment as an alternative to the initiative or amend the initiative and submit the altered version to electors alongside the original initiative (see Mississippi LOR: Amendment). Original and legislative alternatives must receive a majority of votes on them and at least 40% of the total number of votes at the election (Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273).

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
12% of the total number of voters in the last gubernatorial election
Available Time:
12 months to collect signatures and must be filed at least 90 days before the regular session of the legislature (Mississippi Code of 1972, 23-17-3)).
Turnout Quorum:
Legal source does not mention turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
Amendments must receive a majority of votes on them and at least 40% of the total number of votes at the election (Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273, (7)).
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum to pass the measure. -> However, not more than 1/5 of the signatures may come from any single congressional district (Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273, (3)).
Excluded Issues:

Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273
[...]
(5) The initiative process shall not be used:
(a) For the proposal, modification or repeal of any portion of the Bill of Rights of this Constitution;
(b) To amend or repeal any law or any provision of the Constitution relating to the Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System;
(c) To amend or repeal the constitutional guarantee that the right of any person to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or organization; or
(d) To modify the initiative process for proposing amendments to this Constitution.
[...]
(11) If any amendment to the Constitution proposed by initiative petition is rejected by a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon, no initiative petition proposing the same, or substantially the same, amendment shall be submitted to the electors for at least two (2) years after the date of the election on such amendment.
[...]

Source: Mississippi Constitution of 1890 (accessed 7 Juli 2017)

Other Formal Requirements:

Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273
[...]
(4) The sponsor of an initiative shall identify in the text of the initiative the amount and source of revenue required to implement the initiative. If the initiative requires a reduction in any source of government revenue, or a reallocation of funding from currently funded programs, the sponsor shall identify in the text of the initiative the program or programs whose funding must be reduced or eliminated to implement the initiative. Compliance with this requirement shall not be a violation of the subject matter requirements of this section of the Constitution.
[...]
(6) [...] A constitutional initiative may be adopted by a majority vote of each house of the Legislature. If the initiative is adopted, amended or rejected by the Legislature; or if no action is taken within four (4) months of the date that the initiative is filed with the Legislature, the Secretary of State shall place the initiative on the ballot for the next statewide general election. [...]
(9) No more than five (5) initiative proposals shall be submitted to the voters on a single ballot [...]

Source: Mississippi Constitution of 1890 (accessed 7 Juli 2017)

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273
[...]
(12) [...] no person shall circulate an initiative petition or obtain signatures on an initiative petition unless the person is a resident of this state at the time of circulation. For the purposes of this subsection the term 'resident' means a person who is domiciled in Mississippi as evidenced by an intent to maintain a principal dwelling place in Mississippi indefinitely and to return to Mississippi if temporarily absent, coupled with an act or acts consistent with that intent. Every person who circulates an initiative petition shall print and sign his name on each page of an initiative petition, or an a separate page attached to each page, certifying that he was a resident of this state at the time of circulating the petition. [...]

Mississippi Code of 1972
§ 23-17-17
(1) The person proposing an initiative measure shall print blank petitions upon single sheets of paper of good writing quality not less than eight and one-half (8 1/2) inches in width and not less than fourteen (14) inches in length. Each sheet shall have a full, true and correct copy of the proposed measure referred to therein printed on the reverse side of the petition or attached thereto.
(2) Only a person who is a qualified elector of this state may circulate a petition or obtain signatures on a petition.

Source: Mississippi Constitution of 1890 (accessed 7 Juli 2017) and Mississippi Code of 1972 (accessed 7 Juli 2017)

Wording Of Ballot Question:

Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273
[...]
(2) [...] if more than one (1) amendment shall be submitted at one (1) time, they shall be submitted in such manner and form that the people may vote for or against each amendment separately [...]
[...]
(6) [...] The chief legislative budget officer shall prepare a fiscal analysis of each initiative and each legislative alternative. A summary of each fiscal analysis shall appear on the ballot.
[...]
(8) [...] Substantially the following form shall be a compliance with this subsection:
INITIATED BY PETITION AND ALTERNATIVE BY LEGISLATURE
Initiative Measure No. __________, entitled (here insert the ballot title of the initiative measure).
Alternative Measure No. __________ A, entitled (here insert the ballot title of the alternative measure).
VOTE FOR APPROVAL OF EITHER, OR AGAINST BOTH:
FOR APPROVAL OF EITHER Initiative No. ____
OR Alternative No. ____ A ............................................( )
AGAINST Both Initiative No. ____
AND Alternative No. ____ A ...........................................( )
AND VOTE FOR ONE
FOR Initiative Measure No. ____ ......................................( )
FOR Alternative Measure No. ____ A ...................................( )
[...]

Mississippi Code of 1972
§ 23-17-9
[...] the Attorney General shall formulate and transmit to the Secretary of State a concise statement posed as a question and not to exceed twenty (20) words, bearing the serial number of the measure and a summary of the measure, not to exceed seventy-five (75) words, to follow the statement. The statement shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure. Neither the statement nor the summary may intentionally be an argument, nor likely to create prejudice, either for or against the measure. Such concise statement shall constitute the ballot title. [...]

Source: Mississippi Constitution of 1890 (accessed 7 Juli 2017) and Mississippi Code of 1972 (accessed 7 Juli 2017)

Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:

Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273
[...]
(9) [...] The sufficiency of petitions shall be decided in the first instance by the Secretary of State, subject to review by the Supreme Court of the state, which shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all such cases. [...]

Mississippi Code of 1972
§ 23-17-5
[...] the Attorney General may confer with the person filing the proposed measure and shall within ten (10) working days from receipt thereof review the proposal for matters of form and style, and such matters of substantive import as may be agreeable to the person filing the proposed measure, and shall recommend such revision or alteration of the measure as may be deemed necessary and appropriate. The recommendations of the Attorney General shall be advisory only [...]

§ 23-17-11
[...] The Secretary of State shall publish the title and summary for an initiative measure within ten (10) days after filing such title and summary in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation throughout the State of Mississippi.

§ 23-17-21
Before a person may file a petition with the Secretary of State, the petition must be certified by the circuit clerk of each county in which the petition was circulated. The circuit clerk shall certify the signatures of qualified electors of that county and shall state the total number of qualified electors signing the petition in that county. The circuit clerk shall verify the name of each qualified elector signing on each petition. [...] The Secretary of State shall collect a fee of Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00) from the person filing the petition to pay part of the administrative and publication costs.

§ 23-17-45
(1) A pamphlet containing a copy of all initiative measures and legislative alternatives, including the ballot title and ballot summary, arguments or explanations for and against each measure and alternative and the fiscal analysis prepared by the chief legislative budget officer shall be compiled by the Secretary of State. The sponsor may prepare the argument or explanation on the measure. If the sponsor does not prepare the argument or explanation, then the Secretary of State shall do so. Each argument or explanation shall not exceed three hundred (300) words. The Secretary of State shall publish the ballot title, ballot summary, full text of each measure and arguments or explanations for and against each measure and alternative once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks immediately preceding the election in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in each county of the state. The costs of such printing and publication shall be borne by the Secretary of State from funds appropriated by the Legislature.
(2) The Secretary of State shall conduct at least one (1) public hearing in each congressional district on each measure to be placed on the ballot and shall give public notice thereof at least thirty (30) days before a hearing.

Source: Mississippi Constitution of 1890 (accessed 7 Juli 2017) and Mississippi Code of 1972 (accessed 7 Juli 2017)

Transparency And Finance:

Political committees (organizations that spend or receive more than $200 to influence the passage of an initiative) must file a statement of organization with the Secretary of State as well as financial reports every 30 days (Mississippi Code of 1972, § 23-17-49, § 23-17-51).

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§ 23-17-49
(1) Each political committee shall file with the Secretary of State a statement of organization no later than ten (10) days after receipt of contributions aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($ 200.00), or no later than ten (10) days after having made expenditures aggregating in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($ 200.00).
[...]

§ 23-17-51
(1) A political committee that either receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($ 200.00) shall file financial reports with the Secretary of State.
(2) An individual person who on his or her own behalf expends in excess of Two Hundred Dollars ($ 200.00) for the purpose of influencing the passage or defeat of a measure shall file financial reports with the Secretary of State.
(3) The financial reports required in this section shall be filed monthly, not later than the tenth day of the month following the month being reported, after a political committee or an individual exceeds the contribution or expenditure limits. Financial reports must continue to be filed until all contributions and expenditures cease. In all cases a financial report shall be filed thirty (30) days following the election on a measure.
[...]

Source: Mississippi Code of 1972 (accessed 7 Juli 2017)

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: