Mississippi's Republican leadership says they're beginning a comprehensive plan to cut state spending and reform the tax policy. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Mississippi House Speaker Phillip Gunn and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, announced they are forming legislative work groups to examine how state agencies can cut costs. Gunn says they're serious about getting rid of waste.
"The purpose of these working groups will be to examine expenditures. How are we spending the money that we have now. Are we staying within our means. Are we being efficient with those expenditures," said Gunn.
Reeves gave examples of the kind of expenditures they're looking to cut.
"One example maybe the fact that we saved $9.5 million dollars by eliminating the allowance for state agencies to buy new automobiles. We saved that amount in one year. We've actually done it twice and saved nearly $20 million," said Reeves.
Gunn says the working groups will also study the state's tax policy.
"Sales tax diversions to cities, grocery taxes, income taxes, franchise taxes, you name it we've had proposals all across the board. But we think there needs to be a comprehensive study on how those things work together," said Gunn.
The study groups will provide recommendations to lawmakers for the 2017 legislative session. Governor Phil Bryant attended the news conference to show his support for the studies. Mississippi Democratic Trust executive director David McDowell said in a statement, Republicans are starting "another ill-fated attempt at corporate handouts."