Mississippi lawmakers returning to work on state budget

Mississippi legislators are returning to the Capitol to wrap up unfinished parts of the state budget as leaders are clashing with Republican Gov. Tate Reeves.

Posted: Aug 9, 2020 8:12 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators are returning to the Capitol to wrap up unfinished parts of the state budget as leaders are clashing with Republican Gov. Tate Reeves.

The legislative website shows that the House and Senate will convene at 1 p.m. Monday.

A week after the state budget year started July 1, Reeves vetoed big parts of the education spending plan because legislators did not fund a bonus pay program for teachers in schools that either maintain high academic performance or show significant improvement.

Reeves also vetoed parts of a bill that allocated federal relief money for the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

Overriding a governor's veto takes a two-thirds majority of both the House and the Senate.

Legislators are expected to try to set a budget for the state Department of Marine Resources. Final talks about the department's budget 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.

House and Senate leaders originally expected to bring members back in early July to finish the Marine Resources budget, but plans changed because of coronavirus cases among legislators and other people who work in the Capitol. It was the largest outbreak of the virus at any statehouse in the U.S., according to a count by The Associated Press.

Mississippi legislators were in session through most of June. Some people in the Capitol wore masks and kept distance from others as precautions against spreading the virus, but many did not. It was common to see people leaning in to talk to each other with their faces uncovered. People also crowded into elevators and committee meeting rooms, and legislators also sat shoulder-to-shoulder in the House and Senate.

The Mississippi state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, said July 14 that at least 30 legislators and 11 other people who work in the Capitol had been confirmed with the virus. Dobbs recently said that number had increased. At least two legislators — Democratic Rep. Earle Banks of Jackson and Republican Rep. Manly Barton of Moss Point — were hospitalized with the virus and have returned home.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 255125

Reported Deaths: 5574
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17197175
Hinds16280322
Harrison13502193
Rankin10749211
Jackson10407183
Lee8819141
Madison8262162
Jones6375110
Forrest5992119
Lauderdale5873180
Lowndes5381116
Lafayette496692
Lamar487565
Washington4800123
Bolivar3978108
Oktibbeha393880
Panola370779
Pontotoc365353
Monroe3543105
Warren353498
Union344760
Marshall342665
Neshoba3383152
Pearl River329799
Leflore3004105
Lincoln297685
Sunflower284969
Hancock273459
Tate272462
Alcorn264053
Pike263577
Itawamba262959
Scott246645
Yazoo245955
Prentiss245652
Copiah241949
Tippah241750
Simpson235767
Coahoma233754
Leake231164
Grenada218470
Covington213071
Marion212072
Adams205870
Wayne201331
Winston200564
George199338
Attala193759
Newton192842
Tishomingo186359
Chickasaw183944
Jasper170835
Holmes168767
Clay159433
Stone143621
Tallahatchie141034
Clarke138960
Calhoun136121
Smith120823
Yalobusha117034
Walthall112336
Noxubee110522
Greene110229
Montgomery109634
Carroll104521
Lawrence102617
Perry102231
Amite98025
Webster92424
Tunica86721
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis84825
Humphreys83024
Benton81823
Kemper77220
Quitman6918
Franklin66615
Choctaw60513
Wilkinson58425
Jefferson54319
Sharkey43017
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 424028

Reported Deaths: 6121
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62258921
Mobile30381549
Madison27160186
Tuscaloosa20779267
Montgomery19049305
Shelby18572114
Baldwin16346182
Lee12515101
Morgan12260113
Etowah11757168
Calhoun11161200
Marshall10199107
Houston8630148
Cullman8036105
Limestone802874
Elmore7849101
DeKalb768897
Lauderdale760083
St. Clair7555120
Talladega6180108
Walker5903174
Jackson581341
Colbert533573
Blount530883
Autauga519855
Coffee443956
Dale398581
Franklin367548
Chilton337665
Russell331710
Covington327768
Escambia319342
Dallas303396
Chambers284269
Clarke282133
Tallapoosa2617107
Pike249429
Marion246250
Lawrence244247
Winston227335
Bibb216247
Geneva202535
Marengo199729
Pickens197031
Hale176442
Barbour173036
Butler170258
Fayette169026
Cherokee160530
Henry154421
Monroe145617
Randolph140735
Washington137726
Clay126745
Crenshaw119544
Lamar118219
Cleburne117723
Macon115035
Lowndes110735
Wilcox103121
Bullock99128
Perry97719
Conecuh94420
Sumter89126
Greene76123
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
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