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State Budgeting Process Begins Monday

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 17 Sep 2011 01:58pm | comments
Governor Barbour address the crowd at the opening of a new plant in Hattiesburg.

State agency heads will begin making their financial pitches today to members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee for the 2013 Mississippi budget. M-P-B's Jeffrey Hess reports that the current governor....and the two men who want to replace him...are weighing in on the budgeting process.

Throughout this week, state agency heads will go before the 14-member legislative budget committee asking for funding for the next fiscal year that begins July first.

While Governor Haley Barbour will not be governor when this budget eventually takes effect, he is urging state leaders to be conservative with their spending and not rely on state savings to fill in the gaps.

"There is not going to be any slack there. Because there are federal monies that we are spending in this year's budget that are not going to be available any more. We are finishing the spending of those education funds. And we are going to have to have a very conservative very tight budget," Barbour said.

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnnie Dupree is the democratic nominee to replace Barbour....He would like to see a move away from the yearly budgeting process.

"I hope that they look at the budget and they fund those essential things we need  to have funded. And I hope that they would look at not funding it year to year, but the multiple year funding on those expectations," Dupree said.

In his role as Lt. Governor, the Republican Gubernatorial nominee Phil Bryant has played a central role on the joint legislative budget committee for the last four years.

He considers the whole week a waste of time and tax payer money.

"This is just a week long meeting. Nothing will come out of it. There won't be any adoption of any revenue numbers or adoption of a proposed budget. And they hardest thing in the world is to convince people that believe this is something special that this is just nothing more then another government meeting," Bryant said.

Bryant says it would be more efficient to have department heads submit their projections electronically instead of providing in person presentations.

Over the next several months, the legislative budget committee will craft a recommended budget for the new legislature to consider.

Images

Governor Barbour address the crowd at the opening of a new plant in Hattiesburg.


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