By Kathryn Hazelett
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of blog posts about the legislative process on the state, federal, and local levels, and what you can do to help create and influence policy as a citizen. Entries from the rest of the series are linked at the bottom of the post.
Last week, we talked about how to find and reach Arkansas General Assembly members and the Governor. Each state sets up their own legislatures in their own way, and Mississippi is different than Arkansas.
Both Mississippi state senators and representatives serve four-year terms. There are currently no limits on how many terms they can serve.
The Governor of Mississippi also serves four-year terms, but is limited to two terms in her or his lifetime.
Elections for the Governor and state senators and representatives all take place in the odd-numbered years ahead of the US Presidential election, so the next set of elections is this year. All the candidates who have qualified for the ballot are listed here.
How do you contact your legislators? In Mississippi, you can find your state legislators by typing in your address here or here. You can then contact them by finding your representative on this list and your senator on this one. The Mississippi Governor’s information is here.
According to the Mississippi Constitution, the legislature meets for “125 days every fourth year, and for 90 days for all other years.” The National Council of State Legislatures tracks each state’s session here; you can easily find out if the legislature is in session by clicking your state on the interactive map.
And, unlike in Arkansas, it takes a two-thirds vote of the legislature to override a Governor’s veto.
Advocacy 101 Series