The Legislature is set to finalize agreement on spending over $1 billion in ARPA funds as the 2022 session comes to a close. This is above what’s already been doled out in COVID relief. Watch the interview.
Billions of dollars have flowed into Mississippi from the federal government over the last two years. With that increased spending comes the increased chance for fraud and abuse.
As the 2022 session winds down, lawmakers are finalizing agreement on how to spend the $1.8 billion the state received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Indications are that much of that will be used to pair with counties and municipalities to fund infrastructure projects as those local entities also received direct funding in addition to what the state received.
Of course, these ARPA funds are on top of the other COVID relief packages passed by Congress that provided the state with billions more that went to assisting in funding the unemployment compensation fund, hospitals and health departments, K-12 school and universities, and more.
State Auditor Shad White’s office is tasked with auditing these dollars to ensure they are spent for the intended purposes as outlined by each of the governmental entities involved. Given the amount and the limited staffing in the Auditor’s office, that could be a daunting task, but White says his team will do the best possible job to make sure these tax dollars are properly spent as intended.
White joined Y’all Politics on Tuesday to talk about his office’s work to track the ARPA and COVID-related spending that is occurring at the state and local level. Watch the interview below to learn more about how the State Auditor’s office is fighting waste, fraud and abuse of these dollars.