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Mississippi lawmakers gear up for final weeks of budgeting

Mississippi lawmakers are turning their attention to one of their biggest jobs this session — deciding how to spend taxpayers’ money. They will plug some holes in the budget for the year that ends June 30. And, they will set new spending levels for fiscal 2018, which begins July 1. The deadline to agree on budgets is in late March. ...

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Legislators may revise change in Mississippi budget process

Mississippi lawmakers could spend part of their 2017 session revising a change they made to the state budget in 2016. The Budget Transparency and Simplification Act was intended to streamline spending by wiping out the practice of some state government agencies paying others for things such as rent and technology services. It was also supposed to move all “special funds,” ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Strangulation budget hits state employees, poor

Merry Christmas state employees. The budget proposed by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn, and their budget committee colleagues targets you. If you get to keep your job, they want you to work harder and do more for no more pay. The budget is bad for your retirement (PERS) too. Oh, but you will get a tiny tax ...

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November bad month for state revenue collections

By BOBBY HARRISON JACKSON – The 2017 Mississippi legislative session will not be starting on a rosy note in January in terms of state revenue collections. November was a particularly dismal month for revenue collections. The report recently compiled by the staff of the Legislative Budget Committee reveals that in November revenue collections were $35.2 million or 8.8 percent below the ...

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MDA faces possible double-digit cut in budget

  By JACK WEATHERLY The budget for the Mississippi Development Authority could be cut by 11.4 percent for fiscal 2018 compared with the previous year. That’s the recommendation from the Legislative Joint Budget Committee for the state’s leading economic development agency. The committee, composed of members of both houses of the Legislature, recommends a 2.3 percent reduction in the fiscal ...

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Analysis: Budget writers prepare to say ‘no’ to requests

Directors of Mississippi government agencies should get accustomed to one word as the 2017 legislative session approaches. “No.” Based on early budget proposals released by Gov. Phil Bryant and legislative leaders, that word will be the answer to plenty of requests. Mississippi’s economy continues to grow slowly, and tax cuts are projected to reduce the money that state government collects ...

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Mississippi lawmakers propose spending cuts for coming year

Top lawmakers are proposing a Mississippi budget that would be 3 percent smaller for the coming year. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee met Thursday, and members adopted a recommendation for the state to spend almost $6.2 billion during fiscal 2018, which begins July 1. That is a reduction of $195.3 million from the current year. “I would advise agencies to ...

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Mississippi lawmakers examine agencies’ travel expenses

Mississippi legislators are combing through state agencies’ travel reports to try to cut costs on events such as out-of-state conferences. Members of House and Senate budget groups met Monday with several officials, including Medicaid director David Dzielak and Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher. Many agencies require multiple levels of supervisors to approve travel expenses. Dzielak said he signs off on employees’ ...

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Partisan divide shapes Mississippi budget discussions

Mississippi lawmakers are on separate tracks as they discuss state taxes and spending, with divisions defined largely by political party. During different meetings Wednesday at the Capitol, a group consisting mostly of Republicans looked for ways to trim the budget, while Democrats heard from a researcher who recommended Medicaid expansion and more education spending to close the gap between rich ...

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Gov. Bryant believes he’s done cutting budget this year

By BOBBY HARRISON Daily Journal Gov. Phil Bryant says he does not anticipate having to make any more budget cuts this year to offset sluggish revenue collections. “I think we are in good shape right now,” the Republican governor said recently. “We are within the revenue number.” Bryant said any issues dealing with the budget for the current fiscal year ...

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