The down economy has Mississippi lawmakers trimming down the state's budget. Hear how much cuts top legislators are expecting in the coming year.

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Miss. Legislature Expecting Big Cuts in FY 2013

By Daniel Cherry | Published 13 Dec 2011 06:00pm | comments

More than a dozen top ranking Mississippi legislators have submitted a budget proposal for the full legislature to consider. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports major cuts are expected for many state departments in Fiscal Year 2013.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee released their recommendations yesterday in preparation for the regular session beginning next month. Doug Davis is the outgoing Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman. He says cuts range from 0 to 48 percent of some departments with total state support cut by 2.3 percent over the previous fiscal year.

"For some agencies 2.3% is a lot particularly after the cuts they've had the last 3 years. Between the cuts, using of one-time monies, things of that nature. This is just a conversation starter for the next legislature to see a way to do it."

The state lost more than 500 million dollars in non-recurring revenue like stimulus money so cuts have been at the front of everyone's mind. Steve Holland, House Public Health Committee Chairman, says the Department of Health is facing nearly 20 percent cuts...something he hopes to fight in the regular session.

"We've got to remember the least and the last and the most vulnerable among us and that's a lot of our citizens. It's going to take money to take care of the base needs that they have. It will be a pretty good dogfight, but I hope right will prevail."

Mississippi students lag in many areas when it comes to education so advocates are concerned about big cuts to the state's largest single expenditure. House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown says this proposal suggests only a few changes to funding for k-12 education, but even bigger cuts for higher ed.

"There's a reduction in IHL (Institutions of Higher Learning) that I hope we can replace when we actually vote on appropriations, but K-12 comes out ok. It's not where we want to be. We're still $230 million short of fully funding MAEP, which concerns us, but I think we'll be ok."

The full legislature must approve an official budget in the 2012 legislative session.

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