Governor responds to potential lawsuit filed by Speaker of the House

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Following reports that Speaker of the House Philip Gunn is planning to file a lawsuit against Governor Tate Reeves over his decision to veto a portion of the education budget bill, the governor responded in a lengthy social media post.

Governor Reeves chose to veto the education budget bill due to a proposed $26 million cut to a teacher incentive program, and he has repeatedly stated that he intends to call a special session to allow lawmakers to “fix” this perceived commission.

While the details included in the potential lawsuit are scarce, the governor believes it is an attempt to forgo the legislative process.

“They don’t have the votes to override the vetoes, so this is their Hail Mary,” Reeves wrote.

Additionally, the post alleges that the Speaker is filing the lawsuit in order to override the veto of another bill, which the governor says would’ve sent CARES Act funds to a defunct hospital and other “special favored projects.”

The full post can be read below:

We have dozens of more pressing issues, but one update on what’s going on at your Capitol: the Speaker of the House has launched a lawsuit against me because I vetoed to prevent their earmarks from going to special favored projects.

One of those projects was $2 million from the CARES Act relief fund for a business deal with a hospital that’s been closed for years. Closed for years! Nothing to do with COVID! I wonder who’s involved behind the scenes… The other was for community organizing to fix disparity.

They’re also suing because I vetoed their budget when they passed a massive teacher pay cut—which their own Ed chair now admits was a mistake. A mistake because they got caught? They secretly eliminated rewards for good teachers and funneled into a huge increase for admin budgets.

I want them to actually do their job in a special session (as soon as it’s safe) and fix their teacher pay cut. In fact, that’s all I care about on that front. The fake hospital and a vague disparity study fund are nonstarters. Pay-offs for friends of favored House members.

There’s a small group in the House that only wants to pick fights with me—some liberal Republicans who’ve joined forces with liberal House Dems. They run the show these days: Democrats and some left-leaning GOP politicians. Trey Lamar and Robert Johnson lead that crew around.

Many conservative Republicans in the House are irate about this dynamic. They’re constantly shoved aside, and they were trampled in this instance too. Taxpayer-funded lawsuit to try and shove through earmarks for bogus deals? They are fuming behind the scenes.

They don’t have the votes to override the vetoes, so this is their Hail Mary. I wish they wouldn’t waste your money and pull us away from all the crises we’re managing to deal with their nonsense, but it’s their favorite game. I’ll keep trying to prevent the waste and damage.

The governor also discussed the lawsuit in today’s press briefing.

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