Sens. Merle Flowers of Southaven, Joey Fillingane of Sumrall and Billy Hewes of Gulfport and Lt. Governor Phil Bryant should be ASHAMED!

Sens. Merle Flowers of Southaven, Joey Fillingane of Sumrall and Billy Hewes of Gulfport and Lt. Governor Phil Bryant should be ASHAMED! Political posturing and gamesmanship is not acceptable when it comes to something as important as Voter ID.

We were so close and then we killed it? What gives?

Hosemann upset over failed voting bills


Editor’s note: This is a corrected version of the story.

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is still disappointed that members of his Republican Party killed voter identification and early voting bills during the legislative session, he said Friday.

“It was an uneducated, knee-jerk, local reaction to what has obviously been successful in virtually every other Southern state,” Hosemann told the Hattiesburg American editorial board.

With the killing of the bills this legislative session, Hosemann said the state, “lost the opportunity to stop absentee ballot fraud and assisting voter fraud.”

He said the state also missed an opportunity to get past some of the racial battles that have torn the state.

“It means we’re going to spend a whole year or two more ripping scab off things we’ve been trying to put to bed for 50 years,” he said.

The election reform bills were killed last month by Sens. Merle Flowers of Southaven, Joey Fillingane of Sumrall and Billy Hewes of Gulfport.

Hosemann, who also spoke earlier Friday to the Area Development Partnership’s First Friday, said he believes Mississippi will have voter ID and early voting in the near future.

State Rep. Toby Barker, R-Hattiesburg, who attended the ADP meeting, said he shared Hosemann’s disappointment.

“It seemed like very petty reasons caused voter ID to fail,” Barker said. “Everything was in the right place at the right time and it fell through because personal agendas got in the way.”

Hosemann also introduced a wide-ranging agenda for next year that encompasses issues from land management to business law during both of his appearances Friday.

Topping the list is the establishment of business courts in the state. Hosemann hopes to start up at least three pilot programs in Gulfport, Jackson and north Mississippi next year.

Hosemann said the purpose of the business court is to expedite settling lawsuits between companies.

“It’s too expensive,” Hosemann said. “When two companies are fighting it out, they can’t get loans because of a lawsuit hanging over their heads. It holds up business.”

Limited liability laws are also due for an overhaul, Hosemann said, and he hopes to have a bill drafted for the legislature in December that requires limited liability companies to register with the state every year.

“Right now, we currently have more limited liability companies than we do corporations,” he said. “It’s become the way we do business. We want people to come to Mississippi to do business, and the way to do that is to have the best business laws in the country.”

Hosemann is preparing to undertake the reorganization of real property filings in the state. The first meeting of his real properties task force is slated for June 1 and will focus on finding a more standardized system for filing and public access to deeds.

“It’s a massive project, but we are hoping to have legislation drafted for December,” Hosemann said. “We want to lower filing fees and make it easier for the public to access those records.”

Hosemann said his biggest accomplishment since taking office has been the establishment of a Public Policy Department, which provides legislators with in-depth, non-partisan research on public policy.

“It’s a quantum leap forward,” Hosemann said. “Most legislators work for 90 days and then have full-time jobs to go back to. They might not have time to do research on everything that our public policy department can provide to them without a slant. That’s a huge advantage.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Delbert Hosemann, Phil Bryant, Voter Fraud, Voter ID

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