State Legislature to reconvene Tuesday; economy is on agenda
Mississippi senators will receive a full briefing on the economic outlook of Mississippi and revenue projections when the 2020 Legislative Session reconvenes next week, according to a press release from Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann.
State Economist Dr. Darrin Webb and Department of Revenue Commissioner Herb Frierson will present to the Appropriations Committee at 10:30 a.m. in Senate Room 216 on Tuesday, May 26. The Senate gavels in at 10 a.m. The economic briefing will be webcast (link available at www.legislature.ms.gov) with the help of Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Citizens are encouraged to watch online rather than attend in-person.
“Mississippi’s economy severely slowed for two months, with some businesses closing altogether. We need to understand the economic consequences of the shut down and COVID-19 as best we can before crafting a new budget,” Hosemann said in the press release.
In March, Hosemann, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, Senate Appropriations Chairman Briggs Hopson, and House Appropriations Chairman John Read sent a letter to all state agencies, boards, and commissions which receive an appropriation asking them to implement cost-saving measures in anticipation of the economic halt.
“Our ultimate goals will be to prioritize education, healthcare, and the safety of citizens,” Hosemann said.
The Legislature initially recessed its 125-day Session temporarily on March 18, following the Governor’s issuance of a State of Emergency related to COVID-19.
The House and Senate briefly reconvened twice — in early and mid-May — to begin appropriating the $1.25 billion provided from the CARES Act for COVID-19 relief in Mississippi. The first appropriation set aside $300 million for a direct payment and grant program to small businesses meeting certain qualifications, and $50 million to the governor for any emergency needs. The Gov. Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2772 on May 20.