JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Legislature reappropriated more than $60 million from the Coronavirus Relief Funds.
The funds were allocated to the state from the federal CARES Act. Mississippi was awarded a total of $1.25 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funds.
New programs made possible by the reappropriations include:
- $13 million in a grant program for general agriculture and poultry farming losses;
- $10 million for veterans' facilities;
- $20 million in a grant program for residential and commercial rental assistance;
- $10 million in a grant program for the construction of hospital ICU beds and negative pressure rooms; and
- $10 million to upgrade emergency wireless communication across the State.
In May, the Legislature began appropriating the funds starting with a $300 million grant program for small businesses struggling from the economic shut down during the pandemic.
“COVID has taken a significant toll on our families, businesses, and communities. It has been the Legislature’s priority to maximize funds Mississippi received from Congress,” Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said. “When it became apparent some of the money from the previous appropriations would not be spent, legislators decided to reappropriate to necessary programs which had not yet been funded.”
During the final days of the session, legislators also provided express authority under state law for school districts to license hot spots and service for up to one year to better enable distance learning.
Legislation was also passed to allow the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to purchase a warehouse to store a 30-day supply of PPE and other materials necessary to respond to COVID.
Any Coronavirus Relief Funds which are not spent by the federal deadline of December 30, 2020, will be reallocated to the State’s unemployment insurance trust fund.