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Mississippi not the only state with budget gloom

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 “Gloomier and more uncertain.” The words don’t inspire confidence, but analysts are using them to label the outlook for state budgets across the country. The description is apt in Mississippi, where tax collections sputtered during the budget year that ended June 30 and expectations are less than rosy for the new year that started July 1. The new report about states’ ...

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Analysis: Mississippi health care trust fund whittled away

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It seems almost quaint now, the optimism that Mississippi legislators expressed in 1999 when they created a health care trust fund. The idea was to sock away the state’s multimillion-dollar annual payments from a tobacco lawsuit. The trust fund balance would grow, the money would be invested and the state would spend only the earnings to cover health care expenses. ...

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Mississippi budget writers setting FY17 revenue estimate

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JACKSON — Mississippi’s top budget writers are deciding how much money the state will have available to spend in the coming year. Gov. Phil Bryant meets Monday with the 14-member Joint Legislative Budget Committee. They are analyzing economic trends to determine a revenue estimate. That is their best guess for how much the state might collect in taxes and fees ...

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Mississippi Senate supports $555M tax cut plan

JACKSON — Mississippi senators on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed a plan to cut business taxes and income taxes by $555 million over 15 years, and House Republican leaders seem increasingly receptive to it. The Senate voted 40-11 to pass House Bill 1629 with 32 Republicans and eight Democrats supporting the bill. The measure would cut individual and corporate income taxes by ...

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Reeves proposes more income tax cuts, bumping total to $550M

JACKSON — Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves says he wants to cut income taxes by a larger amount than he has previously proposed. The Republican says Monday he wants to increase the size of his tax cut to $550 million over 15 years. That would include $300 million in income tax cuts, eliminating the first $350 of income tax liability for ...

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Mississippi lawmakers working on early version of budget

JACKSON — Mississippi legislators are working on early proposals to fund state government during the year that begins July 1. The House passed several budget bills Wednesday, including one that would add about $106 million to schools. The proposed education budget includes about $40 million to give pay raises to teachers. It would put tens of millions more dollars into ...

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Bryant's budget proposal includes income tax cut

JACKSON — Gov. Phil Bryant wants to cut income taxes for low-earning Mississippians as part of his 2016 budget proposal. Bryant, a Republican, said today that he’s seeking a $78.7 million tax cut for families earning less than $50,000 a year. It’s the centerpiece of his spending plan for the 2016 budget year, which begins July 1. Bryant is expected ...

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Legislators expect a 3 percent spending increase next year

JACKSON — Top Mississippi lawmakers said yesterday they expect a 3 percent increase in state spending during the coming year, reflecting a prediction of modest growth in the state economy. That’s stronger than the 1.1 percent revenue growth rate for the current year over last year, but weaker than the roughly 5.5 percent growth during each of the two previous ...

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Mississippi budget writers to set FY16 revenue estimate

Top Mississippi lawmakers are preparing to estimate how much money the state can spend during the coming budget year. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee meets Monday afternoon in Jackson. Members will hear experts’ assessment of the state economy. Then, they will set a revenue estimate that will be used as a basis for budget writing. It is an educated guess ...

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Advocates of low-income residents decry failure to expand Medicaid

JACKSON — Groups supporting low-income Mississippi residents said yesterday that elected officials are ignoring 300,000 people and refusing billions of federal dollars by choosing not to expand Medicaid in one of the poorest states in the nation. If the state were to extend Medicaid, as allowed under the health overhaul that President Barack Obama signed into law, many low-wage workers ...

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