Today is the second day of budget hearings of the 14 member joint legislative budget committee. The group plays a major role in deciding how the state's multi-billion dollar budget is spent. Two agencies had surprising requests during the first day of hearings.
The Department of Human Services says they need an additional 12-million dollars to deal with an influx of children into the foster care.
The reason there are more children, says executive director Rickey Berry, is a growth in Meth use in border counties where residents can cross state lines to access drugs, but also an increasing faith in the department after more than a decade of reform.
"Since we are doing better with our reporting and investigating. No good need goes unpunished. More people are making reports because they feel like the system will move," Berry said.
For the first time in years the Mississippi Department of Corrections did not request any deficit spending, which is money needed just to make it through the current fiscal year.
Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps says massive prison overhaul bill already appears to be working.
The number of prisoners is now on the decline.
"We lowered it last year by 1914. Already this calendar year we have been able to lower it over 1600. And since July one we have been able to lower it by 800," Epps said.
The hearings continue through Friday.
The committee will produce a budget blueprint ahead of the January 2015 session.