Small decrease expected for Mississippi budget next year

Mississippi is on track to have a slightly smaller budget in the coming year under a revenue estimate adopted Wednesday, a change that reflects caution about the state's economy.

Posted: Nov 1, 2017 2:34 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is on track to have a slightly smaller budget in the coming year under a revenue estimate adopted Wednesday, a change that reflects caution about the state's economy.

Top lawmakers approved a projection that the state will have $5.6 billion available to spend during fiscal 2019, which begins July 1.

That is $1.5 million less than the estimate for the current year.

Mississippi has "struggled to regain momentum since the Great Recession" that started in 2008, and the state continues to lag behind the nation in economic growth, state economist Darrin Webb told Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

"Our recovery following the Great Recession has been one of the worst in the nation," Webb said.

He said between the depth of the recession in 2009 and 2016, Mississippi's economy grew 1.7 percent while the national economy grew 14.1 percent. The Southeastern region, excluding Mississippi, grew 16.9 percent. The four states surrounding Mississippi grew 8.2 percent.

The economist said Mississippi faces long-term challenges because its workforce is generally less healthy and less educated than most other states.

Webb serves on a five-member group that recommended the $5.6 billion revenue estimate that lawmakers will uses as a basis for writing the budget.

In December, the 14-member Budget Committee will recommend how to divvy up tax dollars for education, health, prisons and other state government functions. All lawmakers will get to vote on a spending plan during a three-month session that starts in January.

Webb said one consideration in recommending a slightly lower revenue estimate for the coming year was a multiyear package tax cuts that has started to take effect — or, as he put it, "legislative changes which have diminished growth in revenue."

Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said he stands by the tax cuts. He said Webb presented "a relatively pessimistic outlook."

"But, given the fact the revenue estimating group missed the revenue estimate last year by hundreds of millions of dollars and we saw what we had to deal with during the fiscal year, I think it's prudent for us to have a very conservative revenue estimates," Reeves said.

Bryant was forced to make multiple rounds of spending cuts last budget year because tax collections fell short of expectations.

Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn described the revenue estimate for the coming year as "realistic."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844951

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161002006
Mobile741871379
Madison53279732
Shelby38325368
Baldwin38068589
Tuscaloosa36009641
Montgomery34482781
Lee25550263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22451406
Etowah20013517
Marshall18777316
Houston17727425
St. Clair16875358
Limestone16135218
Cullman16044303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14968306
Talladega14189299
DeKalb12967269
Walker12020380
Blount10714192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10157194
Coffee9414192
Colbert9334208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7254201
Russell707765
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6932195
Franklin6340108
Chambers5783142
Marion5401130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318189
Cherokee317563
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254460
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184947
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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