Some state agencies may be faced with budget cuts during the next fiscal year. That’s according to a new legislative budget recommendation.
Economic experts in the state have been warning lawmakers that state revenues would likely be down this fiscal year as the economy in Mississippi remains anemic.
Members of the legislative budget committee took that warning to heart and drafted a $6.18 billion dollar general fund budget, that’s roughly 100 million short of last year.
The recommendation cuts several state agency budgets including a 3 percent cut to the College Board, 2.7 percent from Community College, and 1.5 percent to corrections. It would also eliminate more than 25-hundred vacant jobs from state service.
Speaking to the committee, Republican Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves congratulated them on drafting a conscientious budget.
“This committee has done the fiscally responsible thing and recommended to the full legislature, and to the appropriations committees, a fiscally responsible budget that adequately funds state government,” Reeves says. “ We’ll continue to do more work over the next four to five months.”
Senator Willie Simmons of Cleveland is one of three Democrats on the Committee. He says the budget is not perfect, but it’s what the state can afford.
“Well, you know, all of us have a tendency to have some different ideas as to where dollars should be expended,” says Simmons, “but at the end of the day, it was consensus. Everybody agreed that this approach and the recommendation [that was made] will be the best for what we have."
While the recommendation is important to step in drafting a budget for F-Y17, it’s still early in the process. Lawmakers will not finalize a budget until the end of the 2016 session in May.