2020 Legislative Update: Week 4
Rep. Sonya Williams Barnes shares highlights from Week 4 of the 2020 Legislative Session.  

This was as the fourth week of the 2020 Legislative Session.  Because it is early in the session, the committees are just starting to meet as bills are still being drafted, so the floor action has been light.  Bills must be passed out of committee before they are considered by the entire House.  As a result of this, only one bill was voted on this week.

Senate Bill 2149 is an appropriation bill that would divert an additional $400,000 to the Department of Finance and Administration in preparation of the 2020 U.S. Census.  These funds will be used to promote and educate Mississippians about the importance of being counted by the census.  The bill passed with a vote of 114-5.

Governor Tate Reeves delivered his first State of the State address on Monday to a joint session of the Mississippi Legislature.  He spoke of his plans for education, health care and workforce development.  He also announced his plan to close Unit 29 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, or Parchman. This is a response to the string of killings and other violent incidents in Mississippi prisons.

On Thursday evening, a special House Election Committee met to determine the outcome of the House District 40 election.  Representative Hester Jackson-McCray (D - DeSoto) was elected by 14 votes in November 2019, and she has been serving in the House since the start of the Legislative Session.  The bipartisan committee voted unanimously to recommend to the House that she remain in her seat.  The entire House will have a vote on the floor to determine the final outcome.

Representative Ramona Blackledge (R - Jones) announced her resignation this week.  A special election to fill the District 88 seat has not been announced.

Visitors at the Capitol this week included the Mississippi Occupational Therapy Association, Jackson State University Alumni and pharmacy students from around the state.  



 Dr. Jarvis C McInnis
 Cordelia and William Laverack Family Assistant Professor of English

Jarvis C. McInnis holds a BA in English from Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, and a Ph.D. in English & Comparative Literature from Columbia University in the City of New York.  Jarvis is an interdisciplinary scholar of African American & African Diaspora literature and culture, with teaching and research interests in the global south (primarily the US South and the Caribbean), sound studies, performance studies, and visual culture.
He is currently at work on his first book project, tentatively titled, "The Afterlives of the Plantation: Aesthetics, Labor, and Diaspora in the Global Black South," which aims to reorient the geographic contours of black transnationalism and diaspora by exploring the hemispheric linkages between southern African American and Caribbean literature and culture in the early twentieth century. Jarvis's research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral and Dissertation Fellowships, and Princeton University's Department of African American Studies postdoctoral fellowship. His work appears or is forthcoming in journals and venues such as Callaloo, MELUS, Mississippi Quarterly, Public Books, and The Global South.
Professor McInnis hopes to curate a classroom space where his students feel free to take intellectual risks, and where they can use African diaspora literature and culture to celebrate and affirm black humanity and creativity; interrogate and dismantle systems of power, injustice, and inequality; and imagine new futures and more just worlds. 
  • Ph.D., Columbia University 2015
  • M.Phil., Columbia University 2012
  • B.A., Tougaloo College 2009

Harrison County Coastal Delegation

Capitol Visitors 
Jordan JeffersonJackson State University Student Government President

Algebra Nation Representatives

State of the State Address
Governor Tate Reeves gives State of the State Address.  
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Sonya Williams Barnes