Democratic legislative leaders are asking Governor Bryant to call a special session to "return to fiscal sanity." As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the request comes as Mississippi deals with slow growth, corporate tax cuts, reducing state agencies budgets, and changing the way those agencies do business.
Democratic lawmakers are asking the Governor to bring the legislature back to Jackson to fix the state budget. Representative David Baria, of Bay St. Louis, is the House Minority Leader.
"We put the cart before the horse," says Baria. "We decided on these things, and now we want to go back and look and see whether it's feasible. Will it work. We should've done it the other way around. If we had open debate, and input from all sides. Then we probably would have crafted something that works a lot better than where we are now."
Democrats say one of the biggest concerns is the impact of Senate Bill 2362, which changes the way some agencies function financially. It sweeps a state agency's special funds into the general fund, and stops agencies from charging one another for services. Republican Representative Herb Frierson is the House Appropriations Committee Chairman, one of the author's of the budget.
"They feel, the Democrats were shut out of the budget process."
"Yeah. They probably were," says Frierson. "That's what they did to us when they were in power. What comes around goes around in politics."
He says the opposition wants to create a crisis for political purposes.
"There will always be something to gripe and complain about, no matter who has the most input in the writing of the budget," says Frierson.
Frierson says agencies have enough money to get through to January, when the legislature can identify any unintended consequences and correct them.