Miss. NAACP presents its legislative priorities - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Miss. NAACP presents its legislative priorities

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The NAACP was armed with a list of what they call game changing policies for Mississippi.

Mississippi's NAACP President Derrick Johnson said, "We're following a pattern of the past and the past has created an opportunity for us to continue to rank at the bottom."

Joining in on the press conference, Nissan worker Shelia Wilson said, "labor rights are civil rights."

Wilson believes a series of Senate bills passed last week are anti-union. The bills' author claims they are meant to increase economic development.

"We're not able to have a fair election without being intimidated," explained Wilson. "And when I say intimidated, we'll have a roundtable meetings saying that if we have a union the plant will close."

Wilson and the NAACP say they'll fight to keep the bill from becoming law.

Meanwhile, the organization is adding its name to the list of teacher pay raise supporters.

"If we are going to give tax incentives and tax breaks to corporations, we should reward our teachers for training our young minds who will be the workforce of the future," said Johnson.

Another policy change they're giving a green light to is corrections and criminal justice reforms.

"Any changes that reduce the state's prison population and reduce reliance on incarceration will certainly free up resources for the other priorities," said Nicole Porter who serves as the Advocacy Director for The Sentencing Project.

Voter ID is a done deal for the state. But the group isn't giving up on expressing concerns.

"All citizens should have access to a polling place free of barrier of intimidation," said Derrick Johnson. "We've had that history in the state. We should not repeat that history."

Johnson thinks a Senate bill that would allow online and same day registration could be a better solution.

Medicaid expansion is another priority the NAACP isn't giving up on. Johnson said he is disappointed that the state refused to expand Medicaid.

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