Blackmon Touts Fiscal Plan - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/02/03

Blackmon Touts Fiscal Plan

Addressing the Gulfport Business Club, Barbara Blackmon got down to dollars and cents. She says her fiscal responsibility plan stresses government belt tightening, keeping taxes low, and saving taxpayer dollars.

Blackmon says state lawmakers would have better control over spending if they knew just how much is being spent and that's why if she's elected lieutenant governor, she says she'll push for a performance audit.

"A top to bottom audit of spending in state government is the best way for us to get a handle on state spending," she says.

Blackmon says the audit will help put spending in line with current state revenues.

"Getting spending in line with our current revenues, this would help us fund better schools, jobs and health care."

Health care is part of Blackmon's fiscal plan. She wants Mississippi to join other states that participate in a prescription drug purchasing compact.

"This would save taxpayers approximately 75 to 100 million dollars and it would lower the cost of prescription drugs to our senior citizens who get their medication through Medicaid."

Blackmon says right now state pays half a million dollars to buy prescription drugs through Medicaid.

"We would pool those resources with all those other states and when you pool those resources you have better bargaining power with the pharmaceutical companies," she says.

Zero based budgeting is another part of the Blackmon fiscal plan. Blackmon says each state agency should start with a zero balance and then justify how it spends money.

Blackmon, a Democrat, faces incumbent Amy Tuck in the November general election.

byMarcia Hill

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