Evaluation: 1st months not what Reeves anticipated as governor

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, left, listens as State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, discusses the state's efforts to reduce and limit transmission from the COVID-19 virus, Monday, July 20, 2020, during a press briefing in Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, left, listens as State Well being Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, discusses the state’s efforts to scale back and restrict transmission from the COVID-19 virus, Monday, July 20, 2020, throughout a press briefing in Jackson, Miss.


Republican Tate Reeves has made clear that his first six months as Mississippi governor did not form up the best way he anticipated.

Reeves took workplace in January after eight years as lieutenant governor and eight earlier than that as state treasurer.

A pandemic wasn’t anticipated when Reeves campaigned final yr, and responding to the brand new coronavirus has occupied most of his time as governor.

“In 2020, issues aren’t like they had been in 2019,” Reeves mentioned Friday. “2019, I used to be working a political marketing campaign, working 20 hours a day, seven days every week, and I by no means thought I might lengthy for these days. However I can guarantee you that I lengthy for these days relatively than coping with this virus.”

The brand new coronavirus was first detected in Mississippi in early March, weeks after the primary U.S. instances had been reported. Reeves closed faculties that month and set a statewide stay-at-home order that remained in place a number of weeks. He step by step eased restrictions on hair salons, eating places and different forms of companies. He has set some new restrictions recently, together with a masks mandate in some counties.

A number of weeks in the past, Reeves misplaced an influence wrestle with the Legislature over who controls $1.25 billion in pandemic aid cash that Mississippi is receiving from the federal authorities.

The Mississippi Structure created a robust legislative department and a weak govt. When Reeves presided over the Senate as lieutenant governor, he wielded energy over many choices, together with finances writing.

As governor, Reeves argued that as a result of he’s the state’s chief govt, he ought to make choices in regards to the federal cash. The Home and Senate asserted management, making the long-established case that setting budgets is a legislative accountability.

The on-again, off-again legislative session nonetheless is not over as a result of budgets for training and the Division of Marine Assets stay unresolved. It is unclear when legislators will return to Jackson as a result of not less than 31 of them — and presumably extra — are nonetheless recovering from a coronavirus outbreak that occurred after individuals within the Capitol extensively disregarded security precautions throughout June.

The session included landmark votes by the Home and Senate to retire the 126-year-old Mississippi flag that was the final state banner within the U.S. to incorporate the Accomplice battle emblem.

Critics have lengthy condemned the insurgent flag as racist. Individuals who voted in a 2001 statewide election selected to maintain the design. Legislative leaders — together with Reeves, as lieutenant governor — mentioned for years that there was no consensus within the Home and Senate to vary the flag.

As a candidate and through his first months as governor, Reeves had a constant reply to flag questions: If the design had been to be reconsidered, it must be carried out in one other statewide vote.

Momentum for change grew rapidly throughout June, as widespread protests targeted consideration on racial injustice. When it turned clear that legislators had a two-thirds majority wanted to droop regular deadlines and file a invoice to vary the flag, Reeves conceded that he would signal a invoice in the event that they handed one. Not coincidentally, two-thirds is identical margin wanted to override a governor’s veto.

Throughout a small ceremony on the Governor’s Mansion on June 30, Reeves did one thing he in all probability didn’t envision at first of 2020: He signed the invoice retiring the outdated flag. A fee will design a brand new one with out the insurgent image and with the phrase, “In God We Belief.”

The lone design shall be on the Nov. 3 poll. If voters settle for it, that can develop into the brand new flag. In the event that they reject it, the fee will draw a brand new design and that shall be on the poll later — nonetheless with out the outdated flag as an choice.

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