Gov. Bryant Recommends Big Cuts for MississippiBy Daniel Cherry | Published 31 Jan 2012 08:23pm |
If the Governor's Budget Recommendation is any indicator, almost all state agencies will have to tighten their belts a little more in the coming year. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports on what legislators have to say about the Governor's ideas for the new budget.
Governor Phil Bryant says he wants to cut state spending by 26 million dollars in 2013 and also set aside 100 million dollars to the rainy day fund. Bryant says he's committed to making cuts before raising taxes, even in these lean times.
"I think you could come out here and talk about gloom and doom and depress everybody, get everybody to thinking that we can't solve these problems. I'm a problem solver. We are going to pull through this. We're going to do it working together. It's not something to be happy about, but it's something to be realistic about."
Governor Bryant recommends level funding for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, but 73 million dollars of that would come from local school districts' reserve funds. Democratic Representative Cecil Brown is the former House Education Committee Chairman. He says the 73 million in local funding is basically a cut, and that's on top of 230 million dollars in previous cuts.
"We're going to talk about a $300 million cut out of a $2 billion budget. That's 15%. Which means local ad valorem taxes are going to go up. We're going to continue to lose people, lose school teachers, and lose educators."
Still, Brown says he's encouraged Bryant seems willing to reach across the aisle. The Governor says he wants to run the state like a business. That's something Republican Senator Terry Burton says he agrees with...in part.
"It's not a business. It is a government and there's certain things you can't do that you can do in business and certain things that you don't want to do in business that you can't do in government. But certainly we need to be much more business-like in our approach to operating government and a certainly think he's on the right track."
The Governor's plan is just a recommendation to be considered by the full legislature later this session.
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