Primary Authority: The Mississippi Legislature enacts congressional plans, subject to the Governor’s veto. The Legislature can override a veto with a 2/3 vote in each chamber. Republicans currently have a veto-proof majority in the upper chamber, and no party has a veto-proof majority in the lower chamber.
If a bill is presented to the Governor during session, the Governor has 5 days to sign or veto it; otherwise, it becomes law without signature. If the Legislature adjourns during the initial 5-day period, the Governor must sign or veto it within 15 days of transmittal; otherwise, it becomes law without signature. The Governor must return a vetoed bill to the Legislature in the first 3 days of its next session. Sundays are excluded from these calculations.
Advisory Commission: The Joint Congressional Redistricting Committee draws and proposes a congressional plan to the Governor and the Mississippi Legislature, which is free to use, amend, or reject it. The 20-member advisory body is composed of the chairman and vice chairman of the Apportionment and Elections Committee in the Mississippi House, the chairman and vice chairman of the Elections Committee in the Senate, 8 Mississippi House members (2 from each congressional district) appointed by the Speaker of the Mississippi House, and 8 Mississippi Senate members (2 from each congressional district) appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. Committee actions require a majority vote. [Miss. Code Ann. §§ 5-3-121, 5-3-123, 5-3-129]
Mapping Timeline: The advisory committee must prepare and submit its proposed congressional plan to the Legislature no later than 30 days prior to the convening of its next regular session after the results of the decennial census are published. However, the committee is not required to present a plan prior to 4 months after the publication of decennial census results. There is no deadline specified for the Legislature’s enactment of a final congressional plan. [Miss. Code Ann. § 5-3-123]
Redistricting Criteria: None.
Map Challenges: Not specified.
Primary Authority: The Mississippi Legislature adopts legislative plans by joint resolution, not subject to the Governor’s veto. [Miss. Const. art. XIII, § 254]
Advisory Commission: The Standing Joint Legislative Committee on Reapportionment draws and proposes legislative plans to the Governor and the Mississippi Legislature, which is free to use, amend, or reject them. The 20-member advisory body is composed of the chairman and vice chairman of the Apportionment and Elections Committee in the Mississippi House, the chairman and vice chairman of the Elections Committee in the Senate, 8 Mississippi House members (2 from each congressional district) appointed by the Speaker of the Mississippi House, and 8 Mississippi Senate members (2 from each congressional district) appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. Committee actions require a majority vote. [Miss. Code Ann. §§ 5-3-91]
Backup Commission: If the Legislature fails to adopt final plans by its second deadline, a 5-member commission is convened to draw and adopt them. It is comprised of the Chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, who serves as chair, along with the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Speaker of the Mississippi House, and President of the Mississippi Senate. [Miss. Const. art. XIII, § 254]
Mapping Timeline: The Committee on Reapportionment must present its proposed plan to the Legislature and Governor no later than 15 days prior to the scheduled adjournment of the next regular session following the receipt of decennial census data, but in no event prior to 4 months after decennial census results are published. The legislative committees the plans are referred to must report their recommendations to their respective chambers by the 45th day of the legislative session. The Legislature must adopt final plans by the end of that session and, if it fails to do so, the Governor must convene a special session within 30 days of adjournment, lasting no longer than 30 days, for the purpose of adopting legislative plans.
If the Legislature fails to adopt plans by the end of the special session, the 5-member backup commission is immediately convened and must adopt final legislative plans within 180 days of the special session’s adjournment. Plans become effective upon filing with the Secretary of State. [Miss. Const. art. XIII, § 254; Miss. Code Ann. §§ 5-3-93, 5-3-103]
Redistricting Criteria: Contiguous; Compact; Minimize divisions of governmental or political subdivision boundaries; Adhere to county lines as close as possible. [Miss. Const. art. XIII, § 254; Miss. Code Ann. § 5-3-101]
Map Challenges: Not specified.
Types of Measures: Initiatives and referendums are not permitted to amend statutes. Indirect initiatives are permitted to amend the state constitution. Legislatively initiated ballot measures may amend the state constitution, but not statutes.
Single-Subject Rule: No.
Initiative Subject Restrictions: Initiatives cannot be used for the proposal, modification, or repeal of the state constitution’s Bill of Rights, state constitutional provisions relating to the Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System, constitutional protections for the right of any person to work without being denied or abridged on account of their membership or non-membership in any labor union or organization, and the initiative process for proposing amendments.
Signature Requirements: Constitutional amendments require 12% of all votes cast for all candidates for Governor in the last gubernatorial election. Since Mississippi holds gubernatorial elections in odd-numbered years and the circulation period for petitions is one year, signature requirements are based on elections that occurred at least 3 years prior. No more than 20% of signatures can be collected from a single congressional district. For ballot measures to be placed on the 2023 ballot, signature requirements will be based on the 2019 gubernatorial election. 884,911 voted for a gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 election, so 106,190 signatures are required for constitutional amendments.
Submission Deadlines: Initiative petitions must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the convening of the Legislature in the year the petition is to appear on the ballot.
Circulation Period: The circulation period for initiative petitions is 1 year.
Ballot Title and Summary: The ballot title and summary are written by the Attorney General. Expedited reviews for titles and summaries are permitted.
Other Requirements: Circulators must be residents of the state. A fiscal impact statement is required for all initiatives and legislative alternatives. For initiative amendments to be approved, at least 40% of all ballots cast in the election must vote on the measure and a majority of ballots cast on the measure must be in favor. Legislatively referred amendments only require a majority of votes cast for it to be approved. The Legislature can only send an amendment to voters by passing it with a 2/3 vote in each chamber. Initiatives are permitted on general election ballots, but not on primary, special, and odd-year election ballots.
[Miss. Const. art. XV, § 273; Miss. Code Ann. §§ 23-17-1 – 23-17-61; Mississippi Secretary of State Website]