JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The CARES Act passed by the U.S. Congress allots $1.25 billion to Mississippi, and now state legislators are trying to evenly distribute the funds across Mississippi.
“With this CARES money coming back into the state, $1.25 billion is a lot of money, and if we can get that back to the people and doing what we need to do to keep things going, then Mississippi hopefully will be better in the long run,” says state Rep. Donnie Scoggin of District 89.
On June 11, $300 million was approved by the legislature to go to small businesses in the state, and now the remaining $900 million is being distributed into education, health care, broadband and hospitals.
“Other committees that are working on how to divide up the money, we’ve got an education committee, we’ve got health care, IHL looking at colleges and universities,” Scoggin said. “We’ve got broadband, we’ve got counties and municipalities and then elections trying to get ready for the upcoming elections in November.”
Here’s where we can expect some of the funds to go in the state.
“Expand the broadband issue to be able to get out and have, whether its cellular towers or going through the electric power associations. Being able to get Mississippi covered by broadband,” Scoggin said. “I know that we are trying to get as much money as we can to hospitals and smaller hospitals that maybe don’t have as much cushion as some of the larger hospitals, but also mental health with people staying at home, it’s been a real big issue. A lot more depression, a lot more mental health issues.”
Scoggin adds that funds are going to education throughout the state, but worries if there’s a spike in COVID-19, the money will need to go to distance learning and education.