Governor vetoes Jackson Convention Center and Planetarium funds

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) approved and vetoed various pieces of legislation on Thursday, April 28, 2022. Many of the vetoes involved funds for the city of Jackson.

The governor vetoed the following:

  • $1 million for parking at the Jackson Convention Center
  • $1 million to Scenic River Development for their golf course
  • $250,000 at Briarwood Pool
  • $2 million for the City of Jackson Planetarium
  • $500,000 to the City of Greenville for green space next to the federal courthouse
  • $13.25 million for golf park and trail at LeFleur’s Bluff
  • $1 million to the Town of Pascagoula for the renovation of municipal offices
  • $50,000 to Arise and Shine Inc. in Copiah County
  • $200,000 to the Summit Community Development Foundation for costs associated with the Stand Pipe project
  • $7.5 million in allocations that would be distributed to private companies through the Mississippi Development Authority without the normal financial/economic impact analysis

We are shocked and disheartened to learn that the Governor has vetoed $2 million in funding for the Planetarium. We hope to open a line of communication with the governor’s office to review our options. The Planetarium Project is one that takes a beloved facility and brings it back to life for Mississippians to visit, be inspired by, and learn from. We know our project will infuse STEM learning principles into our exhibits, strengthen our growing tourism product by attracting domestic visitors, and strengthen the redevelopment of the downtown fabric in the capital.

This project is driven and driven by young people, like me, who work day in and day out to create spaces that will advance our state, give back to our community, and attract others to see the great things we have in our great state. . We hope to come alongside the governor’s office to help them see this vision so that we can move forward together and restore the funding we have requested.

David Lewis, Deputy Director of Cultural Services for the City of Jackson

Jackson needs to invest in security. We need more policing, not planetarium spending that has already proven unnecessary. When we are fully funded, we can consider luxury items,” said Reeves.

The governor rescinded the proposals two weeks after other Republican officials, including Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn, attended an event to celebrate LeFleur’s Bluff improvement plans.

“I tried for a long time to get the state out of the golf course business,” Reeves said.

LeFleur’s Bluff is already home to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Children’s Museum, and the playground there was recently upgraded. The state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks said a redesigned golf course and the Adventure Trail would make the area “one of the best urban parks in the nation.”

Reeves said three public golf courses are within easy driving distance of LeFleur’s Bluff.

US Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith’s office released the following statement regarding the veto for LeFleur’s Bluff.

Senator Hyde-Smith remains supportive of the continued development of LeFleur’s Bluff into an educational and recreational asset for the Capital and State, and hopes that the Legislature and Governor will reconsider investing in this area.

Office of U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith

Reeves also approved three bills related to infrastructure improvements. These bills are the Mississippi Department of Transportation Appropriation (HB1630), Mississippi Municipality and County Water Infrastructure Grant Program Act of 2022 (SB2822), and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Rural Water Associations Infrastructure grant Program and Appropriation (HB1538/HB1421) .

“We are strengthening our roads, strengthening our bridges and increasing access to clean water,” Reeves said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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