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MSDH Says Conflicting Laws Keeps $600,000 from Domestic Violence Shelters

JACKSON, Miss. – A missing $600,000 is what has been causing an uproar at Mississippi’s Domestic Violence Task Force. Last week their report showed that is how much money the Department of health has been withholding from domestic violence shelters across the state over the past two years. A press release sent out by the task force claimed that the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) would not say why the funds were being withheld.

According to the Deputy State Health Officer Mike Lucius the Task Force never gave the MSDH the report, they found about it through the media.

“One of the biggest things we are having to deal with is that there is a statue for the state of Mississippi that will not allow us to allocate more than $50,000 dollars annually,” said Luscius. “The excess money that was created in the fund was the result of the addition of a criminal bond fee and the statue was never expanded to allow more than the $50,000 dollars to be given to the centers.”

Right now that $600,000 is just sitting in the treasury, ready to be used, but it is going to take legislative action for before the MSDH can allocate the funds to the shelters.

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