Senators will have the opportunity to participate in four hearings related to immediate and future COVID-19 expenses when the 2020 Legislative Session reconvenes in Jackson this week.
The Mississippi Senate gavels in at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, to continue their work in appropriating $1.25 billion in federal funds provided through the CARES Act passed by Congress in April. Last week, legislators began the initial steps of creating a grant program to help small businesses stay afloat.
“Some of the funding available must go to reimburse the significant expenses already incurred by hospitals, local governments, and other entities. Within the federal government’s guidelines, other amounts can go toward planning for Mississippi’s future needs, like increased distance learning capability and broadband access,” Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann said. “Our Senators are doing the work to make sure this money is appropriated expeditiously and wisely.”
With assistance from Mississippi Public Broadcasting, the hearings will be broadcast on YouTube. A link to the webcast will be available on the Legislature’s website: www.legislature.ms.gov.
All hearings will be held in Senate Room 216. The full schedule (times are tentative) and planned testimony is as follows:
Tuesday, May 12
- 1 p.m.—County Affairs/Municipalities: presentations by the Mississippi Municipal League and Mississippi Association of Supervisors on expenses incurred by local governments.
- 3 p.m.—Public Health & Welfare/Medicaid: presentations by Dr. Thomas Dobbs, State Health Officer; Mississippi Hospital Association; University of Mississippi Medical Center; and Department of Mental Health, and others on expenses incurred at health facilities, and on PPE and testing, as well as other issues related to public health and the pandemic.
Wednesday, May 13
- 1 p.m.—Education/Universities & Colleges/Energy/Technology: presentations by the Mississippi Department of Education; Community & Junior Colleges Board; Institutions of Higher Learning; Public Service Commission, and others on the challenges of distance learning, plans for back-to-school in the fall, and increasing broadband access.
Thursday, May 14
- 10 a.m.—Accountability, Efficiency & Transparency/Interstate & Federal Cooperation: presentation by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and local emergency management officials on expenses incurred by local and state emergency management officials.
The Capitol is open to the public, but only those with business are encouraged to attend in person. Others are encouraged to watch online. Medical professionals from the State Department of Health and Mississippi State Medical Association are taking temperatures, and issuing masks and hand sanitizer, to those entering.