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Governor Bryant Releases Budget Recommendation

By Daniel Cherry | Published 14 Nov 2012 07:41pm | comments
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant recommends cuts to most state agencies in the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1st, and he wants more money put into savings. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports...
 
Several public safety programs, the Mississippi National Guard, and the University Medical Center would be exempt from cuts according to Governor Phil Bryant's budget recommendation. But Bryant says, most agencies would have to cut back.
 
"We look at a 1.5% cut to most agencies. I can tell you as a former agency director, 1.5% is not insurmountable."
 
Under Bryant's plan the state's K-12 public education funding model, known as the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, would retain level funding. Colleges and Universities would see a 9 million dollar increase...far less than what higher education officials want. The Governor says is the state brings in more money, he would recommend more funding for higher education.
 
"Cuts at IHL (Institutions of Higher Learning) and community colleges are going to be put on the backs of students that are trying to pay tuition. And K-12, it's free. You can go to school, but when you get to community college you've got to start paying, and families are struggling. So I hope we can do better than that. That was as much as we could push."
 
Another key part of Bryant's $5.8 billion dollar budget would remove a decade old tax law that forces some small business to estimate their tax liability and pre-pay before the end of the fiscal year. Many like Ron Aldredge, the President of the Mississippi Federation of Independent Businesses have been pushing for that change.
 
"That needs to end. That's a bad practice, and we're thankful the Governor is getting behind it because he understands. When you put an obstacle and burden in the way of small business, you're slowing down this state to create the jobs that are needed."
 
Governor Bryant's budget proposal IS only a recommendation. Lawmakers will release their own spending plan next month. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.

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