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BREAKING: Senate passes bill to let Bryant spend savings

Mississippi could lift the cap on Gov. Phil Bryant’s authority to spend money from the state’s financial reserves.

The Senate voted 33-14 in a Tuesday special session to pass Senate Bill 2001. It would remove the $50 million cap on Bryant’s ability to spend money from the rainy day fund.

Officials are trying to shore up the state budget for the year that ends Thursday.

Sen. Briggs Hopson, a Vicksburg Republican, says while it appears Bryant needs only a small additional amount of money, lawmakers don’t want to limit transfers because estimates could be wrong. Hopson says there’s no danger that Bryant will misspend money because he can’t spend any more than lawmakers budgeted.

The state has more than $350 million in its rainy day fund. Bryant has already made two rounds of budget cuts and taken $45 million from the fund.

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