Reeves vetoes money for golf courses and other projects
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday that he has vetoed spending for several projects, including more than $13 million to revive a golf course and create an adventure trail at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park in Jackson.
He struck down the proposals two weeks after other Republican officials, including Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn, attended an event to celebrate plans for improvements at LeFleur’s Bluff.
“I’ve been trying 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 Natural Science Museum and the Mississippi Children’s Museum, and the playground there was recently improved. The state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks had said a redesigned golf course and the adventure trail would make the area “one of the best urban parks in the country.”
Reeves said three public golf courses are within a short drive of LeFleur’s Bluff.
“Rather than invest more money into what Jackson really needs, like more police officers, this appropriation throws millions of dollars into a golf course that has already failed,” he said.
Reeves vetoed $1 million for the Scenic Rivers Development Alliance for improvements including golf cart path repairs and course equipment upgrades at Quail Hollow Golf Course in Pike County.
The vetoes Reeves discussed Thursday are a small slice of the spending legislators approved, which included a roughly $7 billion state budget for the year that begins July 1 and about $1.5 billion that Mississippi received from the federal government for pandemic relief.
The other items he vetoed were:
— $7.5 million in earmarks that would go to private companies through Mississippi Development Authority without the usual financial or economic impact analysis.
— $2 million for renovations at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium in downtown Jackson. The Jackson City Council this week rejected a proposal to borrow more money for the project, citing the need for the city to pay for water system improvements.
— $1 million to build a parking lot at the Jackson Convention Complex.
— $1 million to the city of Pascagoula to help pay for renovations of city offices. Reeves said the state should not fund city and county office buildings.
— $500,000 to the city of Greenville for green space next to the federal courthouse.
— $250,000 to the privately owned Briarwood Pool in Jackson.
— $200,000 to Summit Community Development Foundation for a Stand Pipe project.
— $50,000 to Arise and Shine Inc. in Copiah County.
Because their session is over, the first opportunity for legislators to consider overriding vetoes would be during the next regular session in January or during any special session the governor might call before then. Overriding a veto takes a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate, which are both controlled by Republicans.