Initiative 42 results remain unclear

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

JACKSON (AP) — It was unclear late Tuesday whether voters would agree to amend Mississippi’s constitution to bolster public school funding, with official returns too close to call.

Early returns show more voters rejecting an amendment. Rejection would mean failure for Initiative 42, which would require the state to provide “an adequate and efficient system of public schools” and allow people to sue if funding falls short.

Republican leaders had advocated against any change at all. Lawmakers also proposed alternate amendment 42A, which requires “effective” schools, without stipulating a right to sue.

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Even if voters end up approving a constitutional change on the first part of the ballot, there’s another step required. Under state law, either 42 or 42A must garner votes equal to at least 40 percent of all votes cast Tuesday to pass.