Bryant More for education formula, less for other agencies.

Bryant included dozens of proposals as part of his annual budget recommendation for the 2017 legislative session. Although the report details Bryant’s spending plans, it does not require lawmakers to take action. His long-standing efforts to reduce government spending and its influence on everyday Mississippians’ lives is reflected in his $5.7 billion proposal. Bryant stated in the report that a budget should reflect priorities and that this budget represents how he believes government can use taxpayer funds to move Mississippi forward. Bryant’s proposal would provide $16.4 million to the public education formula. EdBuild, a New Jersey-based company, is currently evaluating it and potentially revising it with legislators. This represents a slight increase in 0.7 percent over last fiscal year. However, the overall K-12 budget would be cut by 9.5 percent to general education programs, and 6.9 percent to the Chickasaw interest programme. This is almost equal to the current fiscal year’s level. The governor suggested cutting “most agencies” at 1.8 percent, citing the spending increases of those agencies in the past five fiscal years. Bryant stated that he would like to privatize government, including consolidation of certain agencies or departments, but he didn’t mention any specific agencies. Bryant was kind to Lt. Governor throughout the report. Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn were praised for their work in this year’s legislative session. This included their efforts to reform the state’s tax code as well as its public education spending formula. “Lt. Gov. Reeves is currently working with his staff to review Gov. Bryant’s proposals are appealing to him and he is looking forward to working with him in finding efficiencies in agencies to fund state priorities like public education and child protective services. Bryant also has other key proposals. He wants to protect “core functions” of government, maintain level funding for public safety, military, veterans, and emergency management. * Expand performance-based bugeting, giving preference to spending agencies and departments that are most beneficial to the state. * The Department of Revenue estimates that a state lottery could bring in an additional $88 million-100 million annually. The governor would be “adamantly opposed to” spending any lottery revenue on any agency, department, or budget line item. * Correct problems caused by the 2016 law which swept special funds into the general fund of the state, causing headaches for many agency heads. Bryant stated that he created a committee to evaluate the law’s shortcomings and present the findings to legislators during the 2017 legislative session. * Plan for the future. This includes putting $57 million in the state’s Rainy day Fund (the largest reserve account) and $109 million from BP oil spill settlement funds into a reserve fund that can be used to fund future Gulf Coast projects. * Reduce Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s budget. Bryant believes this will help MPB become “more self-sustainable” and meet its goal to be “less dependent on the state for support.” * Remain reliant on borrowing and debt and avoid using one-off money for recurring costs. • Discuss the possibility of adding a third Medicaid provider in the Division of Medicaid. * Increase Child Protection Services spending by $13.4million, which is an increase of 13.6 per cent from FY17. This report was contributed by Zachary Oren Smith, Mississippi Today reporter, and Larrison Camp. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to us today as part of the Spring Member Drive. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of all Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think.

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