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Governor Reeves Announces Plans for Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds
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People wait outside a WIN job center in Pearl, Miss.
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Federal dollars from the CARES Act will be going towards helping Mississippi recover from the lasting effects of the Coronavirus. As MPB’s Kobee Vance reports the Governor wants to ensure that money is used properly.

Mississippi will receive 1.25 billion dollars in federal relief from the CARES Act. To prevent fraud and abuse AND to make sure the money is spent properly, Governor Tate Reeves says a third party group will be hired to help manage the funds.

“We have to be transparent. We have to be careful. We have to make sure the money gets into the right hands because there are always some people who want to take advantage of a crisis.”

Governor Reeves says if the Coronavirus returns in the fall, he wants to use part of the federal funds to help teachers and students have better access to distance learning.

“Too many families are sharing one outdated computer, or maybe, don’t have one at all. They may not have internet access to connect to class. I plan to utilize CARES Act funds to help fix that, and it will be a top priority. Support for teachers, schools, and especially parents will be a critical part of our recovery.”

Since March 14th, Mississippi has processed more than 165,000 unemployment claims. Reeves is concerned about people who are out of work because of the Coronavirus. He wants to help train them to get back into the workforce and receive better pay than before the pandemic.

“We need to get average pay for Mississippians up. It has to be higher, and it must be one of our primary priorities. The best way to do that is to help you get more tools to earn a higher wage. I believe we can do that and I plan to utilize our CARES Act funds to do so.”

The Governor says part of the funds will also be used to help small businesses like barbershops, salons and restaurants stay on their feet during the pandemic.