MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Gov. Phil Bryant outlined his budget priorities for the 2020 fiscal year, and top of the list, increasing funding for public safety, protecting the state retirement system and pay raises for public school teachers.
Bryant’s outline does not call for any budget cuts. Mississippi’s budget crunchers predict revenue to increase by 2.6 percent.
Bryant recommends a $50 million pay raise for public school teachers spread over two years, putting away 2 percent of state revenue in the Rainy Day Fund and adding $26 million to the Department of Child Protection Services with some of that money going toward retaining social workers.
The 2020 spending plan would also boost pay for Mississippi correctional officers, which the governor says are about $4,000 below the average in the region.
Below is a full outline of Bryant’s recommended expenditures:
- $50 million for a teacher pay raise phased in over two years
- $75 million for Mississippi’s Public Employees' Retirement System
- $26.15 million for Child Protective Services to protect and care for our most vulnerable children
- $17 million for staffing needs, workforce training, and building repairs for the Mississippi Department of Corrections
- $179,100 to create a Certificate in Public Financial Management and Governmental Accounting at the Patterson School of Accountancy at the University of Mississippi
- $8.5 million to provide Student Financial Aid to Mississippi students
- $600,000 to provide for Rural Physicians Scholarships
- $1.2 million for the Department of Health to aid in disease prevention
- $1 million for the Department of Mental health for community-based services
- $10.5 million for the Department of Public Safety to put on a trooper school and fund the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol pension fund
- $1.49 million for additional medical examiners at the State Crime Lab
“It has been a historic year in Mississippi, and the future looks bright. What we have accomplished economically is a success, and economic development, job growth, and revenue have all take a step in the right direction," Bryant said. "This executive Budget Recommendation highlights the needs in our state to keep our citizen and our communities both safe and prosperous. It will enhance our educational institutions, continue to reform our corrections and criminal justice systems, and increase the protection of our foster children. Now is the time to work together and ensure these recommendations are property implemented.”