Governor Phil Bryant orders new round of budget cuts - - Jackson, MS

Governor Phil Bryant orders new round of budget cuts

Source: WLBT archives Source: WLBT archives
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Governor Phil Bryant has ordered another round of state agency budget cuts.The exact impact of this $51 million dollar adjustment, as the Governor called it, remains to be seen. But agencies were already saying they were stretched thin.

1.45% will have to be shaved from most agencies budgets. Lawmakers don't agree on their reactions to the latest round of cuts.

"I don't fault the Governor for doing what he has to do by law and being fiscally conservative," said Senator Brice Wiggins.

"I'm not sure where bottom is but we're somewhere about 50 feet below it," noted Representative Jay Hughes. "What this is, on one hand, you can claim this is being fiscally conservative or I can say that it's just absolutely disregarding peoples lives and health and safety."

This is the second round of cuts for this fiscal year's budget that starts over each July. Bryant ordered a 1.6% cut to agency budgets back in September to cover for an accounting error. But at the time had a similar statement to what was listed in today's letter.

"The idea that somehow the cupboard is bare," said the Governor in September. "They are more than likely still receiving more money, even with these cuts, then they would have in 2012."

As in previous cuts, some programs like the public school funding formula, highway patrol, and military, will be spared from the cuts.

All of this news comes as Medicaid is requesting money to fill its $75 million dollar deficit, part of which they attribute to the last round of cuts. The director was just learning about the cuts during Thursday's hearing.

"We weren't necessarily expecting it or anticipating it at this point," said Dr. David Dzielak. "So it's really going to make the situation worse."

The Governor is also transferring $4 million from the rainy day to general fund to help balance the budget. 

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