Governor Reeves announced his new executive order at his daily press briefing today, which you can view on our Facebook page here.
In this latest executive order, the Governor lays out strict social distancing guidelines to begin the process of slowly and safely reopening restaurants and allowing outdoor recreation.
MSDH: Coronavirus cases up to 7877 with 310 deaths
Today MSDH is reporting 327 new cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, with 7 new deaths. The total of #coronavirus cases since March 11 is now 7,877, with 310 deaths. See more case details and important preventive steps at https://t.co/QP8mlJ41AN pic.twitter.com/HKVCYGfZrz
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) May 4, 2020
But every executive emergency power has its limits, and as we learned in grade school, these boundaries are set in our Constitution.
Recently, the Mississippi Legislature reconvened briefly to begin appropriating federal funds sent to Mississippi for direct and indirect COVID-19 expenses. The Governor was provided almost $35 million in discretionary money. Another $800 million was designated to specific agencies and programs, and those funds are already available for agencies to use. A separate $1.25 billion, the Coronavirus Relief Fund, will be used for other related expenses like COVID-19 testing and equipment for hospitals, expansion of distance learning technology like broadband to help teacher and students, and grants for struggling small businesses. We are working quickly and responsibly to tackle these needs in our State, and we have provided the Governor with $100 million to use for emergencies until we return to session in two weeks.
Speaker of the House Philip Gunn sent a letter to Governor Tate Reeves on Monday. This came after last week’s move by the Legislature to pass a bill that would allow them authority to spend the $1.25 billion in federal COVID-19 funding. It was a seven-page letter sent to Reeves which was also copied to House members.
The letter points out what Gunn said are “completely incorrect and/or misleading” pieces of information Reeves has presented to the public. He also accused the Governor of attacking House members and the Legislative process. The letter goes on to list several reasons why the Legislature believes this authority does not fall under the Governor.
When asked for his response to the letter in Monday’s press conference, Reeves said,”I haven’t read any letter from the Speaker or otherwise.” He added he has been working to organize COVID-19 relief efforts.
The audit of DHS showed massive sums were funneled to grantees like the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) and the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC), two non-profits. Those grantees were given over $98 million in DHS grants over the last three years, mostly from the program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
The audit’s formal finding is that over $94 million of that grant money has been “questioned,” meaning auditors either saw clear misspending or could not verify the money had been lawfully spent.
Bob Anderson, who has been on the job for two months, participated in Governor Tate Reeves daily COVID-19 briefing Monday.
Anderson is the new Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. He said in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, MDHS has continued to work to help those in need in the state.
Anderson also addressed charges against former Executive Director, John Davis.
YP – Insurance Commissioner Chaney says prepare now for hurricane season
— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) May 4, 2020
Like many others celebrating graduation during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cadet Class 64’s swearing-in ceremony had a different look to it. Typically, large ceremonies are held for cadets as family, friends and state leaders gather together to celebrate the new troopers and their commitment to serve the state of Mississippi, but as we all know, that’s not possible for the time being.
With that said, Cadet Class 64 was joined by Keynote Speaker Governor Tate Reeves and Mississippi Supreme Court Judge James Kitchens during the socially-distanced ceremony that took place on Friday.
Hyde-Smith seeks to protect Second Amendment Rights in Pandemic
We must be diligent to ensure #COVID19 pandemic isn’t used to infringe on our constitutional Second Amendment rights, whether that means wrongly denying @sbagov relief for law-abiding #firearms businesses or undue background check delays. #2A Read more: https://t.co/a59ytoysPz pic.twitter.com/EeZtBD3cZm
— U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (@SenHydeSmith) May 4, 2020