The state’s newest laws will take effect July 1, including tax cutsmedical marijuana and a new official state song

The Mississippi Legislative session, which ended in April, also saw the legislature pass a record budget, as states throughout the nation are flush with federal cash. 

State budget and ARPA funds 

The state’s $7.32 billion budget, more than 9% larger than the previous one, was buttressed by $1.5 billion in federal relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Over $295 million in available federal funding was left on the table, but the legislature will have another opportunity to spend that money next session. 

Roughly half of the state’s ARPA funds will go to cities, counties and rural water associations. The appropriation will allow the state to match local contributions to improving water and sewage infrastructure. City and county governments are also receiving $900 million directly from the federal government through ARPA. 

Gov. Tate Reeves, center, delivers the State of the State before a joint session of the Mississippi Legislature at the south of the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022.

One aspect of ARPA funding the legislature approved ended up being carved out through a veto by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves — $50 million that had been set aside for capital improvements at University of Mississippi Medical Center. In vetoing the measure, Reeves cited disputes between the state-owned hospital and private insurance providers, specifically Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi. 

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