Healthcare, small businesses, and education are legislatureís priorities

With $300 million of the $1.25 billion granted to the state of Mississippi under the CARES Act already set aside for small businesses, Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and the rest of the Mississippi Legislature are working towards appropriating the remaining $950 million.

On Monday, Hosemann told Dave Hughes of The JT Show that the legislatureís current priorities are healthcare, education, and further funding for small businesses.

ďWe specifically want to address the healthcare issues our hospitals, our cities, and our counties have gone through. We particularly want to help small businessesÖand we particularly want to do our distance learning, so those are the priorities for us out of this bill to spend this money,Ē Hosemann said. ďAll of those are ongoing. Iíve got a checkbook, and Iím filling in the blanks. When I get to 1.25 billion [dollars], Iím going to quit.Ē

While the U.S. Department of Treasuryís guidelines do not allow any federal funding to be used for lost revenue, Hosemann thinks the money can completely alter Mississippiís education system.

ďWe canít fill in the budget with this [money], but we can do distance learning like weíve never been able to do before in Mississippi,Ē Hosemann said. ďIíve got too many kids that canít get on the internet.Ē

According to Hosemann, if the legislature pledges $75 million to broadband expansion, the stateís co-operatives have offered to match that number.

ďThat was a great step forward by our Mississippi co-operatives,Ē Hosemann said. ďWe are very encouraged by that, so I think you will see those negotiations going on all week as to how would be the best way for the state to put up x dollars in having extensions to rural areas that do not have coverage.

On top of providing relief dollars to the sectors of healthcare, small businesses, and education, Hosemann wants to pay for a monthís worth of personal protection equipment (PPE) in preparation for a future pandemic.

ďIíve been very vocal about the fact that I donít want to ever get us like this again where weíre bidding against everybody in the world,Ē Hosemann said. ďWhat I want to do is appropriateÖ31 days of every PPE we need in Mississippi, and I want to put it in storage.Ē

To watch the full interview with Hosemann, check out the video below.

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