SuperTalk Mississippi News
Hattiesburg to retain ‘metropolitan’ status as OMB abandons alteration plan
By Steven Gagliano
One of Mississippi’s largest cities will benefit from a decision made by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to back off a proposal aimed at altering the definition of a ‘metropolitan statistical area.’
The proposal to double the minimum population requirement for a MSA from 50,000 to 100,000 residents would’ve eliminated MSA status for 140 cities across the country—including Hattiesburg. According to Mississippi’s Senate delegation—which opposed the plan—the loss of MSA status could negatively affect federal funding in these communities and hinder economic development opportunities.
The OMB announced that, following a public comment period, the office decided to leave the current MSA core population threshold in place.
GREAT NEWS FOR @HATTIESBURG_MS AS @OMBPRESS BACKS OFF WRONGHEADED PLAN TO CHANGE ‘METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA’ DEFINITION. IN MARCH, I OBJECTED TO THIS OMB PLAN IN A LETTER BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE LIMITED MID-SIZED CITIES’ ACCESS TO FEDERAL FUNDS. @TOBY_BARKER HTTPS://T.CO/J7N8CL7GZ2
— U.S. SENATOR CINDY HYDE-SMITH (@SENHYDESMITH) JULY 14, 2021
Senators Roger Wicker and Hyde-Smith were among a group of Senators that wrote a letter to Acting OMB Director Rob Fairweather back in April in opposition of the plan.