Lt. Gov. surprised by the halting of the state's tuition program - - The News for South Mississippi

Lt. Gov. surprised by the halting of the state's tuition program

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves says he's surprised by the recent freezing and audit of the state's prepaid college tuition program, known as MPACT. Reeves says just about every defined benefit plan operates below a one hundred percent funding level, pointing to the Public Employees Retirement System which is in a similar situation.

Reeves oversaw the program for years during his time as state treasurer and campaigned on it during his run for lieutenant governor. Current state treasurer Lynn Fitch ordered the freeze and audit after questioning the programs financial sustainability.

Reeves says the program has to be focused on the long term when it comes to up and down investments.

"That's the nature of the beast when you're depending on investment income. Some years you do really well. Some years you don't do so well and that's why you have to be patient and you have to understand that it's a long term proposition," said Reeves. "You can't look at any one year and make a rash decision particularly when 23,000 families across Mississippi are depending upon it."

Treasurer Fitch says an audit could last up to several months. She hopes it can be restructured but acknowledges it could be shut down.

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