The Mississippi House has voted to put a second constitutional amendment regarding the funding of schools on the fall ballot. Opponents say it is simply a move to confuse voters.
After more than 2-hours of heated debate, the House voted 64-to-57 to approve a constitutional amendment, known as 42-A, on this fall's ballot.
The move is in response to the petition drive by a group known as Better Schools, Better Jobs which placed an Amendment 42 on the ballot that would force increased funding of public education.
Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn says their counter proposal would keep legislative control of education spending, rather than put it on the hands of a judge.
"Secondly, our alternative uses the word 'effective'. Effective focuses on outputs. It focuses on accomplishments and achievements. It is not just funding for funding sake. We want schools that work," Gunn said.
This is the first time the legislature acted to add an amendment alongside a citizen-sponsored effort.
Speaking on the floor of the House, Representative Steve Holland of Plantersville called the decision an attempt to kill the Better Schools, Better Jobs amendment.
"This amendment was put here by the people. They way they wanted it to read. And there is absolutely no good logical reason except politics. Confusion to the voter. To have any kind of alternative," Holland said.
It passed on a near party line vote, with just two Republicans voting against it.
It will also need to be approved by the State Senate.