The war between Governor Tate Reeves and chamber leaders Delbert Hosemann and Philip Gunn over who has the authority to spend the $1.25 billion in federal coronavirus stimulus money has now gone on for over a week.
Yesterday, in his daily press conference, Reeves quoted an email from the head of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in which the department issued guidance on who should administer the CARES Act funds.
He read, “I have consulted with the U.S. Department of Treasury and based on their interpretation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s (also known as CARES Act) Coronavirus Relief Fund for state governments is intended to be administered by the Governor of each state.”
With the Mississippi Legislature voting to strip Reeves of his power to spend the federal relief money last Friday, Reeves has until the end of tomorrow to veto the bill.
Reeves, who appeared this afternoon on The JT Show, did not provide a solidified answer on whether he was going to veto the bill, allow it to become law, or take it to court, yet he did make it clear that the goal is to get the money out to Mississippians as quickly as possible.
“What we are going to continue to look towards is making sure we give this money out to the people of Mississippi as expeditiously and as quickly as possible,” Reeves said. “People back home don’t care about the nuances we are debating here in Jackson. They just need help.”
Reeves also said that if it were not for this ongoing dispute, money would already have been given out by now.
“If they had not passed a bill, we would certainly have…already been able to send out monies,” Reeves said.
To watch the full interview with the Governor, check out the video below.