UPDATE: Lawmakers approve funding for hospitals, landlords, farmers

Mississippi lawmakers have voted to send some coronavirus relief money to hospitals, veterans’ centers, farmers and landlords.

Posted: Oct 2, 2020 12:27 PM
Updated: Oct 2, 2020 12:28 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Hospitals, veterans' centers, farmers and landlords in Mississippi would receive money to respond to the coronavirus pandemic under bills passed by state lawmakers Thursday night.

Members of the Mississippi House and Senate returned to the Capitol on Thursday to reallocate some of the COVID-19 relief money the state received from the federal government.

Like many other states, Mississippi received $1.25 billion from Congress to respond to the pandemic.

Mississippi lawmakers initially put $300 million into a program to aid small businesses. Officials have said the state received fewer requests than expected for the business aid. Some business owners have said the state has been slow in responding to their applications.

One of the bills passed Thursday would set aside $13 million for agriculture operations, including poultry farms that have lost at least one flock during the pandemic.

Separate bills would make $10 million available to hospitals for improvements to intensive care units and $10 million to the state Veterans Affairs Board. Republican Sen. Dennis DeBar of Leakeville said nurses from veterans' homes have left for better pay at other places.

Legislators also passed $20 million to help residential or commercial landlords with lost rental income. The program would only be available to those who have not evicted people who were unable to pay rent between March 1 and Dec. 30.

“You can’t be participating in the program and evict somebody," said House Speaker Pro Tempore Jason White, a Republican from West.

Landlords would be able to seek a maximum grant of $30,000, which would be exempt from income tax. Only 25% of the total $20 million package can go to commercial landlords, while the rest must go to residential, according to lawmakers.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves banned evictions in Mississippi early in the pandemic, but that prohibition expired at the start of June. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an order Sept. 1 banning evictions of people who lost work because of the pandemic, but advocacy groups have expressed concern that evictions are still happening.

During the debate of the legislation, Democratic Rep. John Hines of Greenville asked if the program could help renters. He asked: “Can that particular individual who has been evicted, if they have proof, can they apply for some of that rental assistance?”

White said the bill does not address evicted tenants.

“That’s a different legal issue,” White said.

Mississippi legislators usually finish their annual session by March or April, but the pandemic upended those plans this year. Legislators took an extended break starting mid-March, soon after the virus was first detected in the state. They rearranged their work deadlines and returned for several days in May and June and one day in August. Going into Thursday, they had two work days remaining before the session expires.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319115

Reported Deaths: 7353
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22246264
Hinds20612421
Harrison18342316
Rankin13855282
Jackson13666248
Madison10213224
Lee10050176
Jones8452167
Forrest7810153
Lauderdale7253242
Lowndes6488149
Lamar632288
Lafayette6295120
Washington5412136
Bolivar4833133
Panola4659110
Oktibbeha465898
Pearl River4591146
Marshall4571105
Warren4436121
Pontotoc424573
Union415576
Monroe4154135
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4007111
Hancock385187
Leflore3514125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3366110
Alcorn323272
Scott319274
Yazoo313971
Adams304785
Itawamba304777
Copiah299666
Coahoma298283
Simpson297889
Tippah291168
Prentiss283361
Leake271674
Marion271280
Covington266683
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251851
Newton248563
Tishomingo230867
Winston229881
Jasper222048
Attala214973
Chickasaw210459
Holmes190374
Clay187454
Stone187233
Tallahatchie179941
Clarke178980
Calhoun173732
Yalobusha167740
Smith164034
Walthall135147
Greene131633
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite125942
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica107927
Jefferson Davis107633
Claiborne102930
Benton102225
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin84923
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50817
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547323

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson808021563
Mobile41925826
Madison35600522
Tuscaloosa26136458
Shelby25554254
Montgomery25067610
Baldwin21774313
Lee16234175
Calhoun14692325
Morgan14614285
Etowah14132361
Marshall12443230
Houston10748287
Elmore10295212
Limestone10180157
St. Clair10146250
Cullman9921200
Lauderdale9582248
DeKalb8955189
Talladega8441184
Walker7318279
Autauga7215113
Blount6925139
Jackson6900113
Colbert6394139
Coffee5616126
Dale4928114
Russell454441
Chilton4461116
Franklin430683
Covington4263122
Tallapoosa4117154
Escambia400280
Chambers3715123
Dallas3604156
Clarke352861
Marion3231106
Pike313978
Lawrence3121100
Winston283372
Bibb267364
Geneva256981
Marengo250565
Pickens236562
Barbour234559
Hale226578
Butler223371
Fayette217162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph186844
Monroe179141
Washington170339
Macon163051
Clay159559
Crenshaw155057
Cleburne152543
Lamar145837
Lowndes141953
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh112930
Coosa111129
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
Out of AL00
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Tupelo
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Hi: 93° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 76°
Columbus
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Oxford
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Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
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Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
High pressure moves into our area and will continue to dominate our weather forecast for the next several days. This will mean drier weather in store for our area for several days. However, by this weekend, things could change as a tropical system threatens our area.
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