Q Section 99-19-301 provides for enhanced penalties for crimes committed because of the victimís race, religion, ancestry, etc. Not listed are gender identity, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability. Under the Section 21-17-5 home rule authority, may a municipality enact an ordinance authorizing enhanced penalties for these categories?

A The municipality may enact an ordinance that is not inconsistent with state law under its home rule authority. As the 5th Circuit Court stated (J&B Entertainment, Inc. v. City of Jackson, 152 F.3d 362, 379 (1998)), to be ďinconsistent withĒ a statute, an ordinance must be in direct conflict with statutory provisions. Enactment of a ordinance enhancing the penalties for acts not covered by state law would therefore be valid. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Pope, August 23, 2019)