It is critical that we contact Senators regarding SB 2688 today.
Discussion of this bill will begin today, with the possibility of a
resulting vote to override the Governor’s veto.
Governor Barbour vetoed SB 2688 which would have restored funding
he cut through previous recommendations including National Board
Certification funding. SB 2688 would utilize one time funding from
the Healthcare Trust Fund, and reallocation of line items within
existing agency budgets to restore funding critical to agency
function. The Governor’s reasons for veto of this bill included
spending too much of state reserves and delay of the inevitable
need for restructuring of government functions. He expressed
concern that the restoration of funds was not equitable between
agencies, and further stated that SB 2688 guaranteed higher taxes
within the next few years. Governor Barbour’s full statement is
available for review at www.governorbarbour.com.
The Governor’s veto of SB 2688 has been expected as he expressed
this sentiment from the inception of the bill. Governor Barbour
initially expressed concern with spending from both the Rain Day
Funds and the Healthcare Trust Fund simultaneously which was
recommended in SB 2495. While SB 2495 is still in conference in
the Senate, SB 2688 was formulated through a cooperative effort
between the House and Senate as a compromise with the Governor on
funding sources. While we are aware of the need to restructure
some state function, we find the Governor’s assumption that the
legislature would not address this issue, effectively causing
higher taxes, based on erroneous reasoning. We are all aware of the
resulting changes in our schools with loss of faculty, staff, and
resources to the detriment of Mississippi children. The
Mississippi Department of Education has implemented restructuring
within the administration of the state office. Although there have
been no formal announcements from other state agencies we should
assume, given the current economic climate, that other agencies
will also implement such changes.
Senator Nunnelee, Chair of Appropriations, announced this afternoon
that the Senate would begin discussion of SB 2688 today in
consideration of an override of the Governor’s veto. Given the
efforts of the legislature to compromise with the Governor on
funding sources in order to move the current budget forward, with
the awareness of the need to restructure some government function
both at the legislative and agency level, we urge you to contact
the following Senators who were absent or initially voted against
SB 2688, asking that they reconsider their initial vote:
Albritton, Brown, Burton, Chassaniol, Clarke, Davis, Fillingane,
Flowers, Hewes, Hopson, Hyde-Smith, King, Kirby, Lee P. (35th),
McDaniel, Mettetal, Michel, Moffatt, Nunnelee, Ward, Watson,
Yancey, Horhn, Simmons, and Turner.
Also consider contacting the following Senators who initially voted
for SB 2688, urging them to continue to their support in order to
override the Governor’s veto: Baria, Blount, Browning, Bryan,
Butler, Carmichael, Dawkins, Dearing, Dickerson, Frazier, Gollott,
Gordon, Harden, Hudson, Jackson G. (15th), Jackson R. (11th),
Jackson S. (32nd), Jones, Jordan, Lee E. (47th), Montgomery,
Powell, Stone, Tollison, Walls, and Wilemon.
Email addresses for each Senator are listed below.