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Mississippi school funding feud resolved with veto, new bill

MGN Online

Mississippi legislators have resolved a dispute over education funding.

Posted: Aug 11, 2020 2:54 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators returned to the Capitol on Monday and resolved a dispute over education funding for the budget year that began July 1.

They also expanded a grant program for businesses that have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, increasing the minimum award from $1,500 to $3,500.

House and Senate negotiators discussed a budget for the Department of Marine Resources, but did not reach a resolution by late Monday. Talks were expected to continue Tuesday.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves on July 8 vetoed big parts of the education budget because legislators did not fund a bonus pay program for teachers in schools that either maintain high academic performance or show significant improvement.

House and Senate leaders said the omission of the bonus funding was an oversight and the governor's veto was unnecessary because they intended to fund the program in a few months, in time for teachers to receive the extra pay.

On Monday, the Republican-controlled House and Senate both voted to override Reeves' partial veto of the education budget. With a two-thirds majority needed in each chamber, House members voted 109-17 for the override and senators voted 41-1.

It was the first time since 2002 for legislators to override a governor's veto. At that time, Democrat Ronnie Musgrove was governor and Democrats still controlled both chambers of the Legislature.

On Monday, the House and Senate passed a separate bill to fund the bonus pay for more than 23,000 teachers.

The first-year governor said Monday that he's not surprised about the override. Reeves said some House members have hard feelings against him because he pushed conservative legislation the previous eight years as lieutenant governor.

“If individual members of the House want to punch me in the face, if they want to stab me in the back, that’s fine," Reeves said. "As long as those teachers get the money.”

Negotiations about the Department of Marine Resources budget originally stalled just before legislators left the Capitol on July 1 because the House and Senate clashed over how to spend $40 million a year that the state receives from oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Reeves also vetoed parts of a bill that allocated federal relief money for the coronavirus pandemic, but legislators were not expected to try to override that action. Instead, a fight over the issue will move forward in the courts.

House Speaker Philip Gunn and Speaker Pro Tempore Jason White, who are both Republican, sued Reeves last week, arguing that his action was improper because the governor cannot veto portions of budget bills that deal with conditions for how money is spent.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 498560

Reported Deaths: 9939
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34150535
DeSoto31916399
Hinds31878624
Jackson24352379
Rankin21928388
Lee15450235
Madison14547279
Jones13789241
Forrest13428250
Lauderdale11944315
Lowndes10966185
Lamar10491135
Pearl River9454237
Lafayette8462138
Hancock7703126
Washington7371157
Oktibbeha7118130
Monroe6740174
Warren6656176
Pontotoc6620102
Neshoba6613206
Panola6466131
Marshall6398132
Bolivar6268146
Union596794
Pike5794152
Alcorn5646101
Lincoln5421134
George494979
Scott471198
Tippah466081
Prentiss464881
Leflore4631144
Itawamba4605105
Adams4577119
Tate4553109
Copiah445692
Simpson4423116
Yazoo440386
Wayne438572
Covington427894
Marion4222107
Sunflower4217104
Coahoma4127104
Leake407687
Newton381079
Grenada3700108
Stone358764
Tishomingo358091
Attala330589
Jasper328565
Winston313491
Clay306775
Chickasaw297867
Clarke290694
Calhoun278145
Holmes267287
Smith262450
Yalobusha232847
Tallahatchie225851
Walthall217763
Greene216048
Lawrence211440
Perry204855
Amite204055
Webster201845
Noxubee185940
Montgomery179356
Jefferson Davis170942
Carroll168238
Tunica159039
Benton147538
Kemper141341
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131637
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106328
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 814363

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1141131910
Mobile722941323
Madison52048686
Shelby37315341
Baldwin37098540
Tuscaloosa34973599
Montgomery33996725
Lee23158240
Calhoun22168470
Morgan20675372
Etowah19770496
Marshall18258300
Houston17314405
St. Clair15924337
Cullman15333290
Limestone15239198
Elmore15095284
Lauderdale14163294
Talladega13728272
DeKalb12575259
Walker11096366
Blount10104174
Autauga9904146
Jackson9795180
Coffee9182189
Dale8866181
Colbert8794200
Tallapoosa7045195
Escambia6747127
Covington6688179
Chilton6595160
Russell626358
Franklin5936105
Chambers5562142
Marion4960126
Dallas4897199
Clarke473482
Pike4721105
Geneva4564126
Winston4478101
Lawrence4269117
Bibb421786
Barbour356075
Marengo334189
Monroe330662
Randolph327763
Butler324894
Pickens314082
Henry311265
Hale309487
Cherokee300557
Fayette291079
Washington251151
Cleburne247058
Crenshaw243775
Clay240867
Macon230762
Lamar218146
Conecuh185752
Coosa179038
Lowndes174161
Wilcox167838
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125844
Choctaw87027
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