Mississippi Lawmakers Prepare for a Post-Stimulus EconomyBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 08 Dec 2010 08:30am |
Stimulus funds are set to run out early next year. It is causing major headaches for the state budget and for organizations that relied on the money to survive the recession. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on how Mississippi is preparing for the end of the stimulus.
State lawmakers have known that the funds would eventually run out since the day congress approved the program nearly 3 years ago. State Senator Doug Davis of Hernando is chair of the appropriations committee.
"For fiscal year 12, we'll back out 38-million dollars that was in the fiscal year '11 budget. As far as direct stimulus funds," Davis said.
Much of that went into health and education, but it also freed up cash for the state to spend on other needs. Davis thinks it is unlikely that the state will replace stimulus money.
Mississippi's Stop Violence Against Women program got more than a million-and-half stimulus dollars to further their work statewide. But Division Director Emberly Homes says they still have unspent stimulus funds.
"We are preparing to apply for a no cost extension to Office on Violence Against Women. Not to ask for addition funding but to ask for additional time to complete project implementation," Homes said.
The federal government has reporting requirements; it takes time to start up the programs and sometimes required a 25-percent match that local and state governments just don't have.
Programs that applied for stimulus funds must prove they could keep services running, even after the funds ran out.
"It’s kind of difficult to come up with funding to keep the position going. So, yes, we are always concerned when a program is coming to an end because we want projects to be maintained after we have awarded them," Homes said.
Lawmakers are concerned that hundreds of jobs saved or created by the stimulus could be lost when the program ends.
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