No big surprises expected for 2016 legislative session - - Jackson, MS

No big surprises expected for 2016 legislative session

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Public school funding, the flag, tax cuts are all on the list of anticipated agenda items this legislative session. 

Tax cuts were on Tate Reeves' and other Republicans' wish lists last year. And it seems he'll try again.

"I'll continue to push for a reduction in personal income taxes because I believe we put more money in people's pockets," Reeves said at the Stennis luncheon Monday. "Individuals at home know better how to spend their money better than any government ever will."

Reeves also wants to see a phaseout of the state's franchise tax on businesses. Democratic Senator David Blount said with slow revenue growth, it's not the time.

"If you're gonna cut taxes, you're gonna have to cut services," Blount noted. "Again, we're going to have to balance the budget. And anytime you talk about a tax cut, where does that money come from? It comes from education. It comes from public safety. It comes from public health."

School funding was a big topic in Mississippi for 2015.Get ready to hear more. Reeves was not in favor of Initiative 42. But Monday he said, "I believe it is time to revisit the school funding formula."

Parents' Campaign Executive Director Nancy Loome thinks another look at the formula is good. But she said there's a catch with Reeves' suggestion to move away from basing per-student spending on C districts.

"Making that change in the formula to go from using expenditures of A and B districts as opposed to C districts would reduce funding for all districts," Loome explained.

Infrastructure, the state flag and how to spend the BP settlement money will also likely come up. Democrats still need to elect a new House Minority Leader. The Senate will be voting in a new President Pro-Tempore. There are also tied races in the House and Senate left to be finalized.

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