On Tuesday, March 17, the Mississippi House of Representatives suspended the legislative session until April 1 at 2 p.m., or a date mutually agreed upon by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann if necessary. This suspension is out of an abundance of caution for the members and staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Concurrent Resolution 65 extends the session by 30 days, allows for reconvening on April 1 or upon determination by the House and Senate and adjusts the session deadlines to conform with the extended schedule. HC 65 passed by a vote of 82-38.
Speaker Philip Gunn in a press conference Tuesday afternoon said, “We want to make sure we not only set a good example for the citizens of the state, but also protect those that work here and those who are dispersed to various parts of the state.”
Legislative Briefing, Friday March 20, 2020
- We had 48 new cases reported yesterday (March 19, 2020). We are now approaching 100 cases statewide. We had our first death in Hancock County.
- There appears to be a shortage of supplies from the federal government and this is affecting some hospitals. The demand in some areas exceeds what is available (We have heard from Jackson County and Pearl River County). The Department of Health is aware of this and is working with Washington to get more supplies. Mississippi Emergency Management Associaiton (MEMA) is in charge of distributing the supplies. The Speaker of the House plans to participate in a briefing with MEMA and the Department of Health later this morning, March 20, 2020.
- A request of the Governor has been made to issue an executive order waiving the one-week waiting period for employees to receive benefits. Also requested the Governor to issue an executive order prohibiting the ratings for employers from going up because of the increase in unemployment claims. Both of these measures should provide some financial relief and protection to our employers and employees.
- The legislature continues to talk with state economist, and Department of Revenue (DOR) in an effort to get the best economic outlook possible. The legislature plans to have weekly meetings with them to monitor our economic situation. This will be crucial as we consider what relief we will be able to provide our citizens and as we begin to prepare the budget.
From Drew Snyder, Director of Medicaid
Several key features of the Mississippi Medicaid emercency telehealth policy announced today;
- Allows telehealth services in the home
- Allows more Medicaid providers to serve as distant site providers, including FQHCs and RHCs.
- Relaxes audio-only telphonic limitations.
Use this link for more information from Mississippi Medicaid and the COVID-19 Virus. https://medicaid.ms.gov/coronavirus-updates/
From Shad White, Mississippi State Auditor
Here are a few types of fraud schemes that become more common during emergencies;
- Cyber fraud. Hackers will ask you to open emails and click on links, promising information or help during the emergency. This is how they get access to your system and your personal data. Do not open emails from parties you do not trust.
- Charity Fraud. Parties pretending to be legitimate charities will ask you to donate. Be wary of donating cash and Google any charity that asks for money before giving.
See this website for more information about preventing fraud during this emergency. https://www.acfe.com/disasterfraud/