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Initiative hearing is tonight at Bost

July 11, 2011

By STEVEN NALLEY
citybeat@bellsouth.net

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann will host a public hearing at the Bost Conference Center Theater Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss three constitutional initiatives appearing on the general election ballot Nov. 2.
According to Hosemann’s website, the first initiative up for debate would define the term “person” as including every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or their equivalents.
The second initiative would require Mississippians to submit government-issued photo identification to vote.
The third would force state and local governments to wait 10 years after acquiring property by eminent domain before conveying it to individuals or private businesses. Exceptions to this initiative include drainage and levee facilities, ports, airports, bridges and utilities.
The hearing is the second in a series of nine taking place in major cities around the state, with the previous hearing taking place July 7 in Southaven and the next happening July 20 in Pearl.
“The initiative process allows the citizens of the state of Mississippi an avenue for addressing important constitutional issues which the state legislature does not,” Hosemann said. “Our agency is currently in the ‘voter information’ stage of the initiative process. These hearings provide an open forum for meaningful discussion on these issues, and we encourage the public to attend.”
Those who want to speak publicly for or against one or more of the initiatives can register at the sign-in desk starting at 5 p.m., according to guidelines on Hosemann’s site. Speakers will be selected on a first-come, first served basis. Comments are limited to two minutes each and will alternate between pro and con statements, with each side receiving a total of 16 minutes. Hosemann’s office also accepts written comments to be posted on his website, which can be submitted at the hearings, mailed to Hosemann’s office or emailed to initiatives@sos.ms.gov. Further guidelines and details regarding the initiatives can be found at http://www.sos.ms.gov/elections/initiatives.

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