Last month, Mississippi lawmakers in the State Senate Labor Committee were considering the merits of a new statewide Ban the Box law. Despite the bill dying in the committee, a narrower Ban the Box bill has been introduced in its place. Senate Bill 2112, sponsored by State Senator Tammy Witherspoon, passed the Judiciary Committee on March 9, 2020. Next, the Ban the Box bill heads to the Mississippi State Senate.
Notably, this version of Ban the Box only applies to public employers. The proposed Ban the Box law exempts positions involving direct senior or children interaction, positions where the employer is required under law to obtain criminal history, and positions involving the practice of law.
Senator Witherspoon reports that support for Ban the Box is across the board. Even Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, a republican, supports the proposed law, declaring: “I go back to the Bible, let the first one who has not sinned cast the first stone.”
Should the act become law, it will take effect on July 1, 2020.
With the third-highest incarceration rate in the country, Ban the Box is crucially necessary for Mississippi. The state joins several others also considering Ban the Box laws, including New Hampshire and Iowa. BantheBox.net will continue tracking this important legislative proposal as it works its way to becoming law.