The 2020 Mississippi Legislative Session continued on Monday, August 10 and Tuesday, August 11. When the Legislature finished the budget, the House and Senate agreed to return for no more than six days before mid-October. Gov. Tate Reeves requested they return to use the line item veto on the K-12 education budget, as well as attempt to work on the Department of Marine Resources budget. Reeves claimed the Mississippi Constitution gave him authority to line item veto certain portions of the K-12 budget. He used his line item veto to request the Legislature fund the Teacher Recognition Program, totaling $23 million. The Legislature indicated cutting this program’s budget was an oversight and planned to do a deficit appropriation in January.
The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation watched two portions of the K-12 budget – funding for the FFA Center and upgrades for agricultural education at career and technical centers. The Legislature overrode the Reeves’s veto (requiring a 2/3 vote), and then passed a new appropriation bill to fund the Teacher Education Program. Additionally, the Legislature increased the minimum grant amount for the Back to Business Mississippi program directed to COVID-19 relief. The original minimum grant amount increased from $1,500 to $3,500. You can apply for a grant at backtobusinessms.org.