MDMR now closed as legislators battle over funding

July 4 is probably the biggest weekend on the water in South Mississippi, but on July 1 the state Department of Marine Resources is shut down as legislators in Jackson fight over funding for the agency.

Wednesday was the first day of the new fiscal year, and without the appropriations bill passed by the state Senate and House, the agency can’t operate.

Gov. Tate Reeves tweeted Wednesday morning: “The legislature is locked in a fight over the Dept of Marine Resources. No budget. I support Senate position! House leaders are dug in on earmarking favored projects with recovery funds—huge change. New fiscal year starts now. With no budget, DMR can’t operate. It has shut down.”

A call to the DMR office in Biloxi confirmed the agency is closed and Reeves said in his afternoon press conference, “It’s all over a political fight between the House and the Senate.”

Reeves said the absolute worst thing that could happen is there would be a boating accident today and no DMR or its assets available to respond to it.

Click here to read the rest of this article from the Sun Herald.

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