Hosemann has suggested to use ARPA funds to focus on “transformational and generational” improvements.

At noon on Tuesday, January 4, legislators will return to the Mississippi Capitol and convene the 2022 Legislative Session. A number of key issues will appear before lawmakers, including the possible elimination of Mississippi’s income tax, medical marijuana, the initiative process, Congressional and legislative redistricting, and passing the FY 2023 state budget.

However, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann expects the biggest challenge to be overseeing the expenditure of the $1.8 billion allocated to the state from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

In late October, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann (R) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Briggs Hopson (R) named a seven-member Senate Appropriations Subcommittee comprised of 5 Republicans and 2 Democrats to review and make recommendations regarding the use of $1.8 billion in American Rescue Plan funds sent to Mississippi.

The Mississippi Senate ARPA Subcommittee met a handful of times throughout November and December to hear from a variety of presenters as they considered recommendations on how to spend the $1.8 billion.

Lt. Governor Hosemann has repeatedly suggested the state use the ARPA funds with a focus on “transformational and generational” improvements.

“Challenges always come with significant opportunities and responsibilities,” Hosemann said in a press release. “There will be many proposals to use one-time money on fleeting items. My hope, however, is we will stay organized and focused on generational change. Years from now, we want to be able to point to the positive difference this influx of resources has made in our state.”

Hosemann has proposed a program to match the millions of ARPA dollars cities and counties received for water and sewer projects with state money to stretch the funds available and complete necessary projects.

Along with ARPA appropriations, lawmakers will likely deal with bills including a teacher pay raise, the rehabilitation of the state’s public parks, and tax relief amid an increase in state revenue.

The Lt. Governor told Y’all Politics that he has been working with state economists and doing as much work as he can to come up with ways to combat the cost of living.

“That really is my biggest fear going into next year. Not that we won’t spend the money well, because we got a lot of people looking at that, but the thing I can’t control or the legislature can’t control, is the cost of living and that inflation cost,” the Lt. Governor said.

To view the legislative deadlines, or otherwise track the progress of the Legislature over the next three months, visit www.legislature.ms.gov.