Governor Lets Two Education Bills Become Law

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove is allowing two education budget bills to become law without his signature.

Both take effect on July 1, the beginning of fiscal 2003.

One of the bills pumps $1.5 billion into public elementary and secondary schools. That's more money than schools are receiving this year, but is still $60 million short of original expectations the coming fiscal year.

The other bill adjusts an equity funding formula originally written in 1997. The Mississippi Adequate Education Program is designed to help property-poor districts.

In a written statement, Musgrove said he let most general fund state budget bills become law without his signature because he thinks lawmakers used unrealistic numbers to write the bills.

"The people of Mississippi demand and deserve a budget based on realistic estimates,'' he said.

The $3.5 billion general fund is the largest part of Mississippi's budget, covering needs as diverse as schools, prisons and health care.