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In June, Mississippi State Auditor Shad White’s office released their annual audit and discovered $117 million in improper unemployment payments made by Mississippi’s Department of Employment Security (MDES) between the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and June 2020.
“Nearly every state I’ve talked to around the country lost millions of dollars to fraud out of their unemployment funds. Mississippi was no exception,” Auditor Shad White said. “The federal government and state governments around the country do not need to repeat those mistakes the next time we have a recession. I hope this audit and those like it in other states are used to fix anti-fraud controls and prevent this kind of massive loss from happening in the future.”
In a Twitter post on Monday, White referenced an article from the Inter-Mountain about West Virginia lawmakers learning about how much unemployment compensation was fraudulently paid during 2020. West Virginia paid around $83 million in fraudulent unemployment claims last year.
Last week, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced the deployment of four litter collectors on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The devices are floating structures that use booms to direct the flow of water and litter into a trap.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first confirmed pediatric influenza death in Mississippi for the 2021-2022 flu season. Pediatric deaths are defined as deaths of individuals under 18 years of age.
Including this reported death, there have been a total of 23 pediatric flu deaths reported in Mississippi since pediatric flu deaths became reportable in the 2008-2009 flu season.
“We recommend that all Mississippians get their flu shots every year, but especially now with COVID-19. The flu vaccination can be given at the same time – or any time before or after – the COVID-19 vaccination. There is no minimum amount of time you need to wait between these vaccinations,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.
YP – Mississippi Republican Congressmen Palazzo, Kelly, and Guest join opposition to healthcare workers COVID vaccine mandate
Mississippi Congressmen Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Trent Kelly (MS-01), and Michael Guest (MS-03) joined over 150 Republicans last week to support a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to halt President Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers via the Medicare and Medicaid providers system.
The measure was approved in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 52-48. Mississippi Republican Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith supported the CRA.
The Congressional Review Act process is the legal process whereby Congress can overturn an Administration regulation, once it has been properly noticed. “Proper notice” occurs once a regulation is printed in the Federal Register and received by the Clerks of the House and Senate.
MSDH COVID-19 Reporting – For 3 Days
Today MSDH is reporting 736 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, five deaths, and 42 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. State #covid19 totals: 519,851 cases, 10,331 deaths. Full information: https://t.co/YCv9xPyJDk pic.twitter.com/vrAdj3tfuY
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) December 13, 2021
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced the Revitalizing Small and Local Businesses Act, which would create a new competitive grant program through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for nonprofits, business districts, and Main Street organizations that provide assistance to small businesses in urban and rural communities.
The legislation would authorize $250 million for this new program over the next five years to fund community-based initiatives to help small businesses identify resources and develop skills to retain and create jobs.
“The coronavirus pandemic hit small businesses in local communities across the country,” Senator Wicker said. “This legislation would support economic development on Main Streets in small towns across America and in Mississippi. It would also empower rural, low-income, and minority-owned businesses through direct funding and technical assistance.”
In early 2021 State Representative Rickey Thompson introduced a house bill called the ticket quota bill.
It passed the house 121 votes but not the senate…
…Thompson said they are going to try again in 2022 to make sure the bill passes on both sides of the house and senate.