Governor Bryant unveils executive budget - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Governor Bryant unveils executive budget

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Governor Phil Bryant presented his executive budget recommendation Wednesday, a recommendation that uses zero one-time money. It includes no new taxes or fees.

Bryant wants the rainy day fund to remain untouched. He says that would allow for it to reach half of its limit.

The governor says the three principles of the budget are:

  • Spending prudently,
  • Saving for the future
  • Prioritizing the core functions of government.

Governor Phil Bryant puts the priorities on education and public safety. Overall, he is preaching the same budget sermon.

"Again, I will stress, we must get our one time revenue for recurring expenses under control," Bryant said from the podium.

The state was warned by Fitch ratings just last week about one-time money use. Bryant said we've got to keep it top of mind.

"We've worked on it through the legislative process the last several years. I believe we can get it to zero. That's one thing this budget does," Governor Bryant said.

Revenue estimates are up. It's good news that Bryant wants to take with caution.

"That's a new $140 million dollars worth of expenditures. Now we can either spend that or we can save it. This budget says save that," Bryant explained.

Just like a family might do, saving for the future is important for the state. That's the role of the rainy day fund. The governor's recommendation funnels money into that.

"It also calls for Mississippi to begin working in earnest to refill to the statutory limit the rainy day fund as was done in 2008," explained the Governor.

The statutory limit is the cap the state puts on the fund. This budget gets it halfway there.

"Hopefully soon in the next year or two, reaching the 400 million dollar capacity of that fund and putting that money away for savings," said Bryant.

One way the governor wants to add to the savings is by issuing fewer bonds---particularly for things like state building improvements.

The Department of Finance and Administration Executive Director Kevin Upchurch explained the plan of action saying,  "Let's take 70 million dollars out of the capital expense fund. Let's fund that with cash."

The legislative budget committee will present their recommendation next month.

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