FY 2010 MS Budget Deal Reached…More Cuts Possible in the Future

A compromise bill that spends $82 Million in reserves to offset budget cuts passed the House and Senate on Wednesday. Governor Haley Barbour, who has cut $458.5 Million from the budget this fiscal year, has indicated he supports this measure. The compromise was reached after the House agreed to the position of the Senate leadership and Barbour to restore $16 Million of the $29 Million cut from the Department of Corrections. The Senate agreed with the House position to restore $4 Million of the $20 Million cut from the Department of Mental Health. Another key factor in reaching a compromise—at the insistence of the House— was an agreement from Gov. Barbour to provide to the community colleges $4.4 Million of his discretionary federal stimulus funds. Some of the budget additions include: $1.491 Million to district attorneys, $1 Million to the State Tax Commission, $2.036 Million for the National Board Certification program, $33.908 Million for Mississippi’s Adequate Education Program, $4 Million to the Institutions of Higher Learning, $2.5 Million to the Department of Human Services, $1.765 Million for the Department of Public Safety, and $1.286 Million to the Attorney General. Though Governor Barbour supports this restoration of cuts, he has warned that due to the continued decline in revenue more cuts may be necessary. Revenue collections for the month of February were $33 Million or 12.39% below estimates. “With four months remaining in the fiscal year, it is likely state spending will have to be reduced beyond the $458 Million in cuts already made,” said Barbour. “State law requires a balanced budget.”

– Beth and Stephen Clay, MSHA Lobbyists

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