Mississippi receiving virus relief money spread over 2 years

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves during COVID-19 briefing on Oct. 19, 2020.

Mississippi legislators are not in session now. So it could be months before they start deciding how to spend the latest round of pandemic relief from the federal government.

Posted: May 10, 2021 4:42 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators are not in session now, so it could be months before they start deciding how to spend $1.8 billion in the latest round of pandemic relief from the federal government.

Mississippi will receive part of the money this year and the rest next year.

The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday released details about how much money state and local governments are receiving under the American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Joe Biden, and how the money may be spent.

“I think it's going to take some time to fully inspect and understand what's included,” Mississippi Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Briggs Hopson told The Associated Press on Monday.

The Treasury Department said state and local governments may use the federal money for public health, including efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. They may use it to address economic problems that the pandemic has caused for workers, households, small businesses, industries and government. They also may use some of the money to replace tax revenue that was lost because of the pandemic and to provide extra pay for essential workers.

Other acceptable uses are for improvements to water and sewer systems and expansion of broadband access, the Treasury Department said.

States are not allowed to use the money to cut taxes, shore up pension funds or rainy day funds, make payments on long-term debt or pay off legal settlements, under the Treasury rules.

Some states can receive their full share of federal relief money this year and others will receive it in two payments a year apart. The 20 states receiving the full share this year have unemployment rates at least 2 percentage points higher now than in February 2020. Mississippi is among the 30 states with an unemployment rate that has not climbed to that level, so it will receive its money over two years.

Mississippi legislators' next regular session begins in January. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves could call them into special session, if he wants, to decide how to spend the federal money.

Hopson, a Republican from Vicksburg, said Monday that he does not know whether the governor will call a special session.

Payments to cities and counties will be split into two batches — some this year and some next year.

In addition to the $1.8 billion that is going to Mississippi state government, Mississippi is receiving $268 million that will be split among cities and towns with fewer than 50,000 residents. During their 2021 session, legislators created a state fund where this money will be sent. The state will distribute the money to those communities.

The federal government on Monday also released information about money going to larger Mississippi cities. Jackson will receive $42.1 million; Gulfport, $19.5 million; Hattiesburg, $12.9 million; Biloxi, $11.1 million; Southaven, $7.6 million; Pascagoula, $5.2 million; and Moss Point, $2.7 million.

Counties are receiving money based on population. Mississippi’s largest county, Hinds, is receiving $45 million. The only Mississippi counties receiving less than $1 million are both sparsely populated. Issaquena will receive $257,754 and Sharkey, $839,304.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
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Fall has started off exactly as you would have anticipated and it looks like we should have a number of dry days still ahead, but this isn’t a permanent switch, because heat is pegged to return.
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