The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus released a statement disagreeing with Governor Reeves’ decision to stop federal pandemic unemployment assistance.

The letter is below:

The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus disagrees with Governor Tate Reeves’ decision to stop accepting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance on June 12, which will likely place many struggling families further into financial despair and cause many who cannot find employment to survive on a meager $235 per week in state assistance.

As policy makers our decisions should be evidence based, as opposed to peer driven. During the early stages of the pandemic, many businesses in Mississippi were deemed essential meaning those businesses never closed.

There are many Mississippians of all ages, races and genders who for one reason or another have not been able to gain employment or be re-employed in their professions during the pandemic and they rely on the federal money to get by – not to prosper – but to survive.

Stopping this essential benefit without evidence to support the move is insensitive, uncaring and borders on a lack of empathy for those who at this moment probably cannot do any better job wise or financially.

We ask Governor Reeves to please reverse his decision until he can prove his theory that people are avoiding employment because of accepting the federal benefits.

Sincerely

Senator Angela Turner Ford, Chairman, Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus