Mississippi received its $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding, but there has been contention between lawmakers and the Governor over the disbursement of the funds.
Who has the authority to spend the money? Should it be up to Governor Reeves or the Legislature?
Last Friday, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn brought in members of the House and Senate to create an amendment on SB 2772. This amendment would take away spending authority from the Governor and give it to the legislature.
After a meeting Wednesday between the three men, they were able to agree that they would work together to determine how CARES Act funding should be spent.
“We know who needs this money,” Reeves said, “I believe that the three of us and other legislators can work to get this money to the people who need it most.”
Lt. Governor Hosemann said he plans to ask Senators to hold the bill (SB 2772) while they develop a plan on how the money will be spent. If this deal had not been reached, Governor Reeves could have chosen to veto the bill or it would have become law tonight at midnight.
Hosemann continued by saying he wants Mississippians to know that lawmakers are working together on solutions during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will work to allocate these dollars to people as quickly as humanly possible,” Hosemann said.
Speaker Gunn thanked the Governor for working with them to find a solution.
All three agreed that the priority lies with small businesses and they will be the first to receive funding.