The 2022 Mississippi Legislative Session is scheduled to start January 4th. The American Heart Association will count on the help of You're the Cure advocates across the state to speak up for policies that will help Mississippians live longer, healthier lives. If you haven't yet, sign up for our session kick-off call on January 4th at 11:30 a.m. CT.
To date, our top priorities for session include:
SNAP Incentives Funding
Nutrition is essential for heart health. To help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients have better access to healthy foods, we're working with the Department of Agriculture and Commerce to include legislation to SNAP incentives in their budget. This would provide matching dollars to participating retailers and farmers markets for SNAP recipients to purchase additional fresh fruits and vegetables. Commissioner Andy Gipson and team are working with us to get bill sponsors who serve on the Agriculture Committees as well as Appropriation Committees ahead of the January 4th session. We will host Grow the Good Virtually: Mississippi Digital Day of Action on January 27th. Learn more here.
Hypertension & Stroke Prevention Funding
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), more than 700,000 Mississippi adults have high blood pressure, or hypertension, and thousands more may be at risk for this major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. To help more Mississippians monitor their blood pressure, we are requesting $5 million of funding in partnership with MSDH for Community Health Prevention. The funds would be used for community health infrastructure projects in under resourced communities across the state.
Access to Healthcare
Roughly 200,000 working Mississippians do not have access to health care and struggle between paying for a doctor's visit or putting food on the table. This is taking a toll on their health. Together with partners across the state, we will monitor and support legislative efforts to reform Medicaid. We have heard that the Lt. Governor plans to make access to healthcare one of his priorities this session. We have also helped promote a sign on letter for community support to be shared with the Speaker of the House.
Please note, we continue to advocate for a statewide telecommunicator CPR (T-CPR) policy to ensure 911 callers receive high-quality CPR instructions over the phone when necessary. We will ask the Board on Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training (BETST) to vote at their January meeting to approve T-CPR as a required training course for 911 dispatchers in Mississippi.
To get the latest updates on our policy efforts, become part of our You're the Cure grassroots network at www.yourethecure.org/join.