Our apologies, it's been a while since we've updated you on our policy efforts during Mississippi's legislative session.
As you may recall, our top priorities for session were to support SNAP incentives programs and to increase water access in schools. While legislation on these issues failed to pass this session (details below!), we're very grateful to have such bipartisan support on both efforts, as well as the support of You're the Cure advocates like you.
Grow the Good
Recently, our efforts to Grow the Good in Mississippi through SNAP incentives programs were highlighted in the Daily Journal - check it out!
Here are the legislation details:
- SNAP Healthy Food Incentives Bill (HB115) - Sponsored by Rep. Becky Currie and Rep. Price Wallace, this bill provides enabling language for the program. The bill failed to move in its first committee stop, the House Public Health and Human Services committee.
- SNAP Healthy Food Incentives Bill (SB2163) - Like HB115, this bill sponsored by Sen. Nicole Boyd provides enabling language for the program. This bill was combined with a food bank bill into SB2426, which passed the Senate 🙌 and then failed to move in the House Public Health committee.
Next steps: We'll continue to work with community partners and You're the Cure advocates to communicate with lawmakers about the need for this policy. In the meantime, we're excited to sponsor a free virtual Mississippi Food Summit on April 15th. If you're interested, we invite you to register here.
Put Water within Reach for Students
To improve access to to free, clean drinking water for students, we asked lawmakers to ensure water bottle filling stations are included in newly constructed schools and schools undergoing major renovations.
Here are legislation details:
- Water Access in Schools Bill (HB925) - Sponsored by Rep. Kent McCarty along with a bipartisan group of co-sponsors, the bill passed out of the House 🙌 and then failed to move in the Senate Education committee.
- Water Access in Schools Bill (SB2148) - Sponsored by Sen. Dennis Debar, the bill failed to move in its first committee stop, the Public Health Committee
Next steps: We will explore passing a statewide policy through regulations, meaning we'll need your help to ask a state agency to pass the policy. We'll likely need some volunteers to write letters to the editor and place some phone calls.
Updated 4/1/21 with next steps.
As Grassroots Manager for the American Heart Association, Julie M. Howell engages volunteers and staff in the Association's public policy efforts across Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.