State Budget Will Shrink Again This Fiscal Year - - The News for South Mississippi

State Budget Will Shrink Again This Fiscal Year

Legislative budget leaders agreed Friday that lawmakers will have $41.5 million less to spend in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1.

Members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee met with their economic experts to discuss Mississippi's tax revenue picture. The experts recommended the committee make no changes in projections that the state would collect 4.3 percent more money next year over this year.

The committee members, led by Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, cut the revenue projection to 3.8 percent. The reduction equates to about $41.5 million less in the budget for 2003.

Tuck said she wants to err on the side of caution in case the economic upturn that experts see doesn't happen.

House Speaker Tim Ford, D-Baldwyn, said lawmakers have proposals in place that could cushion the impact of the reduction in what lawmakers will have to spend.

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove had suggested a 2.6 percent growth was more realistic. Musgrove has made two rounds of budget cuts this fiscal year.

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