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Tag Archives: Legislature

Analysis: Mississippi lawmakers face gaps in current budget

Mississippi lawmakers’ biggest task every session is writing a state budget for the coming year. A smaller but equally important task is deciding whether to fill budget gaps for the current year. The Legislative Budget Office says agencies have submitted $101.1 million in deficit requests for fiscal 2017, which ends June 30. That is 1.6 percent of the state-funded portion ...

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State leaders ponder roads and bridges funding

By JACK WEATHERLY Gov. Phil Bryant and House Speaker Philip Gunn on Thursday told the Mississippi Economic Council that they are open for finding a way to fund a major overhaul of the state’s roads and bridges. But, as they have said numerous times before, neither Bryant nor Gunn favored raising it through increased taxation. Gunn said that as of ...

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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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Mississippi lawmakers vague on tax proposals for ’17 session

Mississippi’s Republican-led Legislature and GOP Gov. Phil Bryant enacted a substantial package of tax cuts during their 2016 session, with reductions phased in over several years. But leaders are vague about whether they will propose other tax changes during the three-month 2017 session that begins Jan. 3. “I wouldn’t expect any major overhaul,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Joey Fillingane, ...

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Mississippi high court hears legislative speed-reading fight

The Mississippi Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday in a legislative dispute that started this spring when Democrats tried to filibuster and the Republican House speaker used a superfast computer voice to read bills out loud. Some legislators said the voice sounded like a demon chipmunk that was so fast it couldn’t be understood. But justices will focus on a ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Republicans struggle to find smart way to budget

Starving the beast” is a popular conservative approach to governance. “If they (legislators) don’t have the money, they can’t spend it,” one Republican operative explained, strongly endorsing this approach.    True enough, but as another longtime Mississippi leader told me, “‘Starve the beast’ is not a smart way to govern, in fact, it isn’t governing at all.”   Also true. ...

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Insurance premium tax only bright spot in state’s revenue stream

By BOBBY HARRISON Surging revenue from Mississippi’s tax on insurance premiums has prevented what has been a dismal year for state revenue collections from being even worse. While state revenue collections for the fiscal year that ended June 30 are down year over year for only the fourth time since at least 1970, revenue from the 3 percent tax on insurance ...

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House gives Bryant authority to use reserves

By BOBBY HARRISON / Daily Journal House Democrats and Republicans had differing goals Wednesday – the second day of a special session where ultimately legislators agreed to give Gov. Phil Bryant additional authority to tap into state reserves to plug budget holes. House Democrats also sought to deal with anticipated problems facing the budget for the next fiscal year. House Republicans ...

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IT’S OVER — Mississippi Legislature adjourns 2016 session

The Mississippi Legislature has concluded its 2016 session. The House of Representatives adjourned for a final time Thursday after meeting briefly and disposing of a procedural block on one bill. That measure allows people in designated districts in certain places to carry alcoholic beverages outside the location it was served. In the first session of a four-year term, Republicans gained ...

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Fate of state tax cuts in conference committee hands

By TED CARTER Whatever chance a tax cut for either Mississippi’s businesses or individuals has this legislative session will be decided by a six-member conference committee appointed by House and Senate leaders. Adding to the difficulties of choices before the conference is a growing tax collections shortfall that represents collections that fell approximately $20 million below projections for each month since ...

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