by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – thegazebogazette@gmail.com or hdawkins@supertalk.fm

On Monday, April 1, 2024, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution asking the legislature to keep the Legislative Judicial District in the county and avoid any changes.  Currently, Mississippi House Bill 722 could potentially be put into law with changes of numerous legislative judicial districts; including Harrison County, which could affect employees and salaries.

Second Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Christopher Schmidt addressed the Supervisors to begin the meeting, mainly discussing the flaws of the redistricting approach passed by the House version.  The bill was submitted to the Senate chamber on March 8 after passing 121-0-1 in the House as a Constitutional Amendment.  After being referred to the Judiciary A Committee, the bill went through the markup process and is set on the Senate calendar.

Schmidt spoke of how additional counties; Hancock and Stone, adopted a resolution asking the state legislature to not revise the Second Judicial District in this redistricting plan.  The circuit judge acknowledged that an increase in Harrison County population from the Census is the reason for the legislature inquiry, but the District Attorney’s Office, Chancery Court and the Circuit Court have all requested that the current system remains.

In the legislation, a judicial district could be created thereby amending the Mississippi Code of 1972.  Additionally, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors would draft a letter asking the Mississippi State Legislature to not move forward with a revision of the county’s judicial district.

The bill is currently near the end of the Mississippi State Senate calendar with one month left until the close of the 2024 legislative session (Sine Die).