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Mississippi Vulnerable To Federal Shutdown

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 07 Apr 2011 10:44am | comments

If federal lawmakers cannot find a compromise on the budget by the end of the Day, the federal government could shut down. Mississippi is especially vulnerable to a federal government shut down because of the state's heavy reliance on federal funds. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on how much the state brings in and where it goes.

Mississippi is near the top for the amount of money it receives from the federal Government.

In fiscal year 20-11, the state received nearly 9-and-a-half billion dollars...which accounts for just under half of all state spending.

Representative Diane Peranich of Pass Christian says that much federal support puts Mississippi in a delicate position.

"A slow down or a halt or a pause in the federal funding coming to the state of Mississippi, coupled with the economy that is not quite up to snuff, and the fact that hundreds of thousands of dollars are dropping out do to earmarks, I think in a state like Mississippi that is a recipient is a grave concern," Peranich said.

The bulk of that money....almost 4-billion....flows into Medicaid.

A spokesman for the state's medicaid division says they have already received their federal funds for this quarter which runs through the end of June, and that medical services will not be interrupted.

Senate Appropriations chairman Doug Davis of Hernando says there is wide impact across numerous state agencies.

"Such as our universities, the Division of Medicaid, the Department of Transportation, federal parks located in Mississippi. You are going into the unknown. Those are questions that need to be asked. At this point we probably need to spend some time talking with state agency heads and ask them what impact (it will have). We don't need to speculate, we need to know," Davis said.

In all 18 departments including; The Mississippi development authority, Emergency Management, the department of education, The Department of Transportation, and the Department of Employment security receive money from the Federal government to help provide their services.

The biggest question facing these agencies during a federal government shutdown is how long will it last...the longer the it does last the tougher the situation in Mississippi could become.

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