Mississippi's 2020 legislative session kicked off on Tuesday, January 7th. This year, the American Heart Association will continue to fight for a tobacco tax increase, as well as pursue new public health policy areas.
Public health issues are not always an easy lift in the Mississippi legislature - and we'll need you to contact your lawmakers throughout session for their support. Our You're the Cure alerts will be the best way to stay informed of when outreach is needed to your lawmakers. Often, we'll ask you to email your legislators, but sometimes we will ask you to call them. Our alerts will make it very easy for you to take action and let your voice be heard.
Based on what we're hearing, we anticipate working on the following issues.
- A comprehensive e-cigarettes bill is expected to be filed relating to bringing tax parity to e-cigarettes, internet sales, retail licensures and penalties, and much more. We likely will support the bill initially and ensure the bill is not weakened throughout the session.
- Since the Lt. Governor is looking to cut agency funding, we want to protect funding for the Department of Health.
- The issue of preemption, or state interference, is trending across the county. We want to stand up for the rights of local governments to pass laws that protect the health of their communities.
Lastly, should the opportunity arise, we'd love to work on the below policies.
- Secure bike/pedestrian appropriations to improve streets and sidewalks, so all people can get safely to where they need to go—work, school, the library, grocery stores, or parks.
- Increase water access in schools by having water bottle filling stations added to newly constructed - or majorly renovated - schools.
- Ensure telecommunicators provide CPR instructions to 911 callers who need to perform this life-saving skill.