Governor Phil Bryant announces more cuts to fill state budget shortfall.
From Child Protection Services to highways and transportation, state agencies heads visited the Capitol this week, to press their case for additional funding. But Governor Phil Bryant announced yesterday, he's slicing $51 million from the state's $5.8 billion budget. Lawmakers say tax collections are below projections. Republican Senator Chris Caughman of Mendenhall.
"We hate to see cuts being made. But if the money's not there you got to do what you got to do. Any time there's cuts we hate to see that happen. 'What does that mean for state agencies?' I'm sure it's not good for them, I'm sure it makes it a little tough for them. But you have to make sure you handle the people's money with care," said Caughman.
Fifty-one million will come from state agencies and he's transferring $4 million from the Rainy Day Fund. Cuts to most programs will be under 1.5 percent. Last September, Bryant cut $57 million from the budget to make up for an accounting error. Representative Jay Hughes of Oxford is a Democrat. He points to tax cuts as the culprit.
"It's a direct result of cutting taxes over the last five years for our corporate donors and now placing the weight of that on the backs of our school teachers, our mental health workers, our direct care givers, EMS and trauma care, no Highway Trooper School. These are real. These affect people's lives," said Hughes.
Governor Bryant in a statement on his Facebook page says the cut represents less than a 1 percent adjustment to the budget. Agencies that are exempt from cuts include the education funding formula, Child Protections Service and Veterans Affairs.