Congressional funds still being reviewed by state leaders - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Congressional funds still being reviewed by state leaders

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Two hundred and fifty million dollars is set to go to Mississippi for education and Medicaid from a measure passed by Congress.  

Congress has said it will save hundreds of thousands of teaching positions nationwide. One hundred million dollars is set to go to education in Mississippi.

However, Governor Haley Barbour has strongly opposed this measure saying it will take away from other agencies in the state.

In a statement on Tuesday, Barbour said: "To get the additional education money from the federal government, we'll have to spend $50 million to $75 million more in state money on education than the Legislature budgeted."

The Mississippi Department of Education says they have been in close contact about this measure with the Governor's office.

"We are in constant contact with Governor's office as they are reviewing it, our staff is reviewing it, we've got legislative leadership that is reviewing it," said Pete Smith, Spokesperson for MDE.

Smith says it's too early to tell if the bill will save teaching jobs in Mississippi.

"From working with the Governor's office as well as legislative leadership and Congress, it would be premature to say at this time, how those funds will impact Mississippi."

Meantime, whether Congress has approved the bill and the President's signed it, the Governor has the right to accept or reject funds issued from Congress.

On Friday, the Governor's office said they are still reviewing the measure and should have answers whether it will be accepted soon.

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