Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and Senate Appropriations Chairman Briggs Hopson named a seven-member Appropriations Subcommittee today to make recommendations on expending the $1.8 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the Mississippi Legislature.
Senator John Polk will Chair the Subcommittee. Other members include Senators Albert Butler, Dennis DeBar, Hillman Frazier, Walter Michel, Rita Parks, and Bart Williams. The Subcommittee is expected to hold a hearing before the 2022 Legislative Session.
In general, ARPA funds may be used for water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure; tourism; and Covid expenses related to healthcare, economic recovery, and other related issues.
During an interview with SuperTalk Mississippi this morning, Hosemann stressed that our state will never see this kind of windfall again. While $1.8-billion is controlled by the Legislature, $900-million will be at the discretion of city and county governments. Hosemann would like to see the Legislature use their portion to match city and county infrastructure spending. “We intend to have these be on a reimbursement model. For example, we’re going to have where people have put water and sewer and broadband in the ground, and we of course come back and reimburse them after the fact. Not sending money off and just hope it gets spent well.”