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"I was elected to serve in the Mississippi Legislature in a 2016 Special Election. Last Wednesday, I qualified to run for re-election to the Mississippi House of Representatives to serve a full four year term. The election is Tuesday, August 6th, 2019. It has been an productive three years as I have become better acquainted with both the legislative process and constituent needs. With your help, I desire to continue to use "my voice" and "your vote" to represent House District 29."

-Representative Abe Marshall Hudson, Jr.  (Bolivar & Sunflower Counties)


Information that Impacts Mississippians

Below are a few items I believe you, as a constituent, Mississippian, or friend, might find intriguing. Please click the BLUE links below for information about the following topics: 


There is "Hope for Hemp" in Mississippi. Check out THIS ARTICLE about House Bill 1547 and look at the below chart that shows some of the modern day uses of industrial hemp.

Newsletters

Missed my old newsletters for the 2019 session? No problem. Please click the blue link below to catch up on what's been happening in the Mississippi Legislature.

Sheriff Kelvin Williams serves Bolivar County. He was at the Capitol advocating on behalf of House Bill 1054 and Senate Bill 2859 . While there, he introduced me to Sheriff Peter Walker (Jefferson County) and Sheriff Willie March (Holmes County). It's unfortunate to hear about the promises that were made to regional facilities in these predominantly black counties but were not fulfilled. Also, READ THIS post I made a few months ago about regional prisons.


The Magnolia Bar Association presents its annual statewide expungement clinics from Thursday, March 28th through Saturday, March 30th. See the flyer below for a location near you!!!

Saturday morning in downtown Cleveland, MS, I walked to support American Heart Month. Thanks to  Theresa Rash  for the invite to walk 3 miles with the Bolivar County Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

I was proud to stand with all these  Mental Health Providers and Advocates who were at the Capitol last week.

Mississippi and Alabama are the only states without equal pay laws, and proponents say federal equal pay laws are insufficient. Several other legislators and I stood with them during different parts press conference to bring more attention to this topic. Click Here to read the full article.

Do you know a young person with musical talent? If so, please forward them this flyer about upcoming auditions at the Grammy Museum in Cleveland, MS.

In this photo, Representative John Faulkner, Representative Cheikh Taylor, and I were having a conversation after session about the abortion ban bill.

2019 Mississippi Legislative
Session (Week 6)

The House met as a whole throughout the week to discuss general bills that made it out of committee and onto the calendar. Thursday, February 14th was the deadline for Representatives to discuss these general bills. Any bills not discussed in session by this deadline died on the calendar. As you will see, the bills that were considered this week dealt with a variety of topics.

Among the bills that died was House Bill 1349. It was a teacher pay raise measure that had been hotly decried as inadequate due to the meager amount of only $500 per year for two years. Education experts have cited the current certified teacher shortage crisis as a direct result of low teacher pay in Mississippi - the lowest in the Southeastern region. Several members were prepared to offer amendments to increase the pay raise offer significantly, but all attempts to revive the measure were rebuffed on deadline day.

I was proud to author a bill to expand the definition of the state's Hate Crimes law to include crimes committed because of a victim's sexual orientation or disability. House Bill 1494 died in committee. However, there was an attempt to add a Hate Crimes law on the House Floor that was defeated along party lines. It is our hope that Mississippi will one day embrace this effort to outlaw these types of crimes.

House Bill 1205 also caused much debate on the House floor. If enacted into law, the act provides that a public agency cannot request or release personal information to an entity organized under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. Most of these organizations are considered nonprofits. Proponents of the bill said this protected donors from disclosing their personal information, while opponents argued that it would lead to a lack of transparency. The bill passed 69-47. 

The House Judiciary A Committee introduced House Bill 1289, or the Law Enforcement Identity Protection Act. The act would prohibit the public release of officers' identities who are involved in fatalities until the investigation is complete. Supporters said that the bill would protect police officers and their families from scrutiny by the media and the public. Those opposed to the bill complained that media outlets usually report the identities of officers, and that investigations can sometimes take years to finish. The bill passed 86-30 and will now be considered by the Senate. 

House Concurrent Resolution 47 proposes an amendment to the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 that would ensure rights to victims throughout the criminal and juvenile justice systems. According to the proposed amendment, crime victims would be notified of all proceedings involving their perpetrator. Opponents of the legislation said that the proposed amendment did not address hate crimes in the state, while supporters said the legislation does address all crimes. The concurrent resolution passed the House 84-33 and will now be considered by the Senate. 

House Bill 732 prohibits an abortion of a fetus once a heartbeat is detected, except if the mother's life or health is in danger. A heartbeat is usually detected around the sixth week of a pregnancy, which would make this law. Supporters of the bill said that this would be a victory for the pro-life movement and the unborn in Mississippi. I believe the bill puts harsh restrictions on women and their right to choose. It was also said that bills similar to this one have been struck down by courts around the United States, so there would be an added expense of court costs. After debate that lasted over an hour, HB 732 passed 81-36. 

Several bills passed the House with unanimous support including one that would allow school districts to use vans instead of buses for small groups ( House Bill 1400), a bill to expand penalties for felony abuse of a vulnerable person ( House Bill 1075) and one that would terminate the rights of a parent when the child is conceived as a result of rape or assault ( House Bill 130). 

With the Dixie National Rodeo in the Jackson area this week, many visitors flocked to the Capitol. Miss Rodeo America Taylor McNair of Learned, previously Miss Rodeo Mississippi, was recognized by the House and Senate for her new national title.
 
Other visitors at the Capitol this week included the Mississippi Department of Health for their annual "Mental Health Day at the Capitol," the Mississippi Egg Marketing Board, the Mississippi Court Reporters Association and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

Constituent Perspective:
Abortion Ban

One of the most debated bills from this week was House Bill 732 (Click Here for Analysis). Nonetheless, it passed. If enacted, it would be one of the earliest abortion bans in the country. I voted against it, but one of my constituents wrote me something I wanted to share (with his permission). As previously stated,  I believe the bill puts harsh restrictions on women and their right to choose.

I want all constituents to know that I may have a differing opinion than you, but it doesn't mean we can't talk through a problem. Furthermore, I attempt to vote in a way that ALWAYS reflect the majority of my constituents desire. I think we gained mutual understanding and genuine respect during our 20 minute conversation a few days ago. Thanks to the constituent for reaching out, and let's continue to keep the lines of communication open. Please read the excerpt below:

"Abe, I want to start off by saying thanks for your great service to our district and state. I am not writing to bash you, or any of the above. I do have questions about your thoughts on voting the way you did today for as a "No" on the Abortion Bill. 

I voted for you when you ran several years ago in our district. I thought of you as a great young leader of our district that would represent all walks of life. I have never questioned any decision that you have ever voted on. As a citizen, I have to say that I am a bit concerned with the way you voted today on the Abortion Bill. I'm not going to question your religion, or any of that. I will question your morality to human life. I'm not saying that one view point is better than the other, but I want to understand the thinking behind why the vote was "No" for our district today. 

Once again, I am not bashing you. Our conversation will stay professional, as a constituent in your district. I will not talk about this any further than right here. That's not who I am, and I have no hidden agenda. I truly just want to understand the why behind it. 

If there is anything that I can do for you, please let me know. Once again, I appreciate your service, and just want to understand the vote. Thanks for your time. I appreciate you."

-Anonymous

How to Contact Legislators

Please email your Representatives and Senators via group email at the following addresses: Representatives@house.ms.gov or  Senators@senate.ms.gov.

Stay in Touch With Social Media

You can stay in touch with Abe by using social media. Follow him on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Please click the links below and be a part of what's going on in the Mississippi Delta.
 
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Since it's Black History Month, I figured I'd throw in the this photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. playing pool. 

    Representative Abe M. Hudson, Jr. | 662-522-1400www.abemhudsonjr.com

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