Hopson files to alter school board filings

Published 11:56 am Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A bill to align qualifying periods for school board elections with those in the rest of the state has moved to committee.

Separately, the bill’s lead author, Sen. Briggs Hopson III, R-Vicksburg, has added two more committee assignments to his duties.

Under Senate Bill 2504, the final day to file paperwork to run for the five seats on the Vicksburg Warren School District would be pushed back a month, to early September. Currently, candidates have until early October to become official candidates. Voting has been forced onto paper ballots the past two election cycles because electronic ballot cards had arrived prior to the later deadline.

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The bill filed by Hopson, also the school district’s attorney, is before the Senate Education Committee and needs majorities in the Senate and the House to reach the governor’s desk. The measure had verbal support from local officials and Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Duran Swinford.

Hopson, who chairs the Senate Judiciary A Committee, was named by Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant last week to succeed former state senator Alan Nunnelee as vice-chair of the chamber’s Public Health and Welfare Committee. The first-term senator was also named to succeed state Sen. Perry Lee, R-Mendenhall, to chair an Appropriations subcommittee over funding for four agencies and the state’s district attorneys. Both moves were prompted by Nunnelee’s victory in November to represent the state’s 1st Congressional District.

Hopson represents District 23, which covers Warren, Issaquena and southwest Yazoo County.