State Budgets 2012: Mississippi




To see more state budget news and information, visit State Budgets 2012.

Budget Background:

  • Fiscal Year Begins: July 
  • Frequency of Legislative Cycle: Annual
  • Legislative Session for 2012: Convened January 3, 2012
  • Frequency of Budget Cycle: Annual

Learn more from the National Association of State Budget Officers


Budget News and Information: 2012


5/2/12: Mississippi House and Senate pass final batch of budget bills, sending them to Gov. Bryant

Mississippi lawmakers have completed their part of the state budget process, passing a final batch of appropriations bills. The overall $5.6 billion budget is for fiscal 2013, which begins July 1.

Spending levels are being reduced for most state agencies for the coming year, but slightly more money will go to K-12 schools and community colleges, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Herb Frierson said.

Most of the additional money for elementary and secondary education will cover the anticipated increase in school employees' portion of the state retirement system, said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Buck Clarke.

Even with the increase in school funding, the K-12 budget will fall more than $250 million short of full funding under the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. MAEP was put into state law in 1997 and is a formula designed to give each school district enough money to meet mid-level academic standards, providing extra money for districts with higher percentages of poor students. The formula has been fully funded only twice, in the election-year legislative sessions of 2003 and 2007.

Read More: Associated Press


3/27/12: Governor revises his budget

First-term Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is revising his state budget for the year that begins July 1.In his new plan, released Tuesday, the Republican no longer asks local school districts to dig into their own financial reserves to offset state funding cuts. Instead, he proposes giving elementary and secondary schools, community colleges and universities the same amount of money next year as this year.He also suggests an extra $3 million for the Mississippi Highway Patrol and another $31.5 million to Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the needy and disabled. He said the Medicaid money would offset an expected loss in federal support.

Read More: Clarion Ledger


3/20/12:Mississippi revenue trends could boost budget projection

Top Mississippi lawmakers say that because of relatively robust tax collections, they may increase the estimate of how much money the state can spend during the coming fiscal year. Tax collections for the first eight months of the current budget year are 4.8 percent above where they were for the same period a year ago, Top lawmakers would not say Monday when they might vote to increase the budget estimate. In the past, lawmakers have waited until the final weeks of a legislative session to adjust the budget figure, saying they wanted as much information as possible in hopes of making an accurate guess about future tax collections.

Read more: Hattiesburg American

3/13/12: House rejects bill to cut taxes 

The Mississippi House has rejected a bill to let businesses pass some tax breaks to individual employees.House Bill 1264 needed 71 votes, but only got 67. Mississippi businesses can get state corporate income tax credits for creating jobs. But many firms can't use all credits, because businesses are often unprofitable during expansion. Chosen employees would receive minimum credits of $250, deductible dollar-for-dollar from state income taxes. Officials say the credit would help Mississippi compete with Tennessee, which has no state income tax.

Read More: Hattiesburg American

3/7/12: Mississippi House OKs more money for governor's budget

The Mississippi House agreed Wednesday to spend more money for the governor's office and mansion during the current budget year. Gov. Phil Bryant's staff said last month that his predecessor, fellow Republican Haley Barbour, spent more than half the governor's budget before leaving office in January, just over midway through the budget year.

Read More: Clarion Ledger

3/4/12: Should Miss. require more budget info?


Gov. Phil Bryant says he wants lawmakers to adopt a "Smart Budget Act" this term, requiring state agencies to provide more detailed information about how they intend to spend taxpayers' money and how they will meet specific goals.

Read More: Hattiesburg American


Budget News and Information: Previous Budget Cycles


5/10/11: Child care vouchers part of budget cuts

Day care and after-school care for hundreds of low-income Northwest Mississippi parents is about to become more of a challenge because of budget cuts that will greatly reduce the number of federally funded vouchers used to pay for such care. The parents of nearly 4,000 Mississippi children will lose the vouchers beginning in June because of cutbacks that trimmed the federal funding for a child care program administered by the state Department of Human Services.

Read more:

4/17/11: Colleges relieved by funding

Despite dismal projections just months ago, higher education leaders say Mississippi's public universities fared better than expected in the 2011 legislative session. Universities received millions for campus improvement projects through Senate Bill 3100, the state's bond legislation. Their budgets were reduced, but the cuts were well below what they anticipated.

Read more:

4/11/11: Universities brace for cuts in new budget allocation

Local universities are bracing for budget cuts since the state passed its $5 billion budget last week. The College Board won't approve its allocations to the eight state-funded universities until April 21.

Read more:

4/10/11: Mississippi planning for high-speed rail system

President Barack Obama's proposed overhaul of the country's transportation infrastructure, particularly implementing a nationwide high-speed rail system, may seem decades away from becoming a reality. But to prepare for what could be an inevitable future, Mississippi officials already are meeting with other states to start the planning process.

Read more:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

4/6/11: Mississippi ag programs get last minute funding reprieve

It has been a roller coaster ride for state funded agricultural programs in Mississippi this year, with Governor Haley Barbour’s proposed budget reductions threatening sharp cutbacks in land grant programs at Mississippi State University and Alcorn State University. But following negotiations last week by a small group of lawmakers, the legislature Monday approved a $5.5 billion state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 that keeps funding at roughly the same levels as last year.

Read more:

3/31/11: With budget deal, end of session may be in sight

With an apparent deal in hand on a $5.5 billion state budget, Mississippi lawmakers will be busy the next few days ironing out details with dozens of budget-tied bills expected to move.Late Wednesday night, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant issued a statement that House and Senate negotiators had reached agreement on a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The deal came after Gov. Haley Barbour urged lawmakers to complete work before the regular session's end, which had been projected for this weekend.

Read more:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

3/28/11: Barbour: No budget better than a bad one

Haley Barbour said Monday he is willing to compromise when it comes to setting the final budget of his eight-year tenure as governor. But Barbour said he was willing to go only so far. Barbour traveled eastern Mississippi Monday to tout his revised, $5.447 billion Executive Budget Recommendation for fiscal year 2011-12, one that he said included an additional $45 million in spending but would not deplete the state's reserve coffers as deeply as House or Senate proposals.

Read more:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

3/28/11: Legislators still at odds over budget

The governor's office met again Monday with key budget writers as state leaders continued trying to reach an agreement on a spending plan for next fiscal year and resolve the budget issues that are about to put this year's session into overtime. House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, who's also a chief budget architect, said the Democrat-led House is opposed to Republican Gov. Haley Barbour's position to cut public education by tens of millions of dollars. He also said Barbour's proposals keep changing. Barbour's office now wants to cut $3.5 million from vocational programs, Brown said Monday after the meeting.

Read more:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

3/27/11: Legislators OK $422M in bonds

Misssissippi lawmakers have voted to borrow $422 million to pay for needs, ranging from economic development to repairs on college campuses. Included in Senate Bill 3100 are bonds to repair Buccaneer State Park, to expand the Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby, to expand and equip the Walter Anderson Museum of Art at Ocean Springs, and to purchase a research boat for the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.

Read more:

3/26/11: Lawmakers miss Saturday deadline; Talks will continue

Mississippi lawmakers missed their Saturday night deadline to file a $5.5 billion state budget compromise, but negotiators say they'll continue talks over the coming days. Lawmakers said talks stalled because the Democratic-controlled House was pushing to spend millions more on education and mental health services than the Republican-controlled Senate, while senators wanted to keep more money in reserves because of uncertainty about how quickly the state economy might recover.

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3/24/11: Lawmakers say Barbour's too secretive on stimulus

Several lawmakers say it's been difficult to get information from Republican Gov. Haley Barbour on how he's spending nearly $50 million in federal stimulus money he's allowed to use at his own discretion. Barbour's office didn't release details about this year's allocation of his discretionary fund to The Associated Press until AP filed a request through Mississippi public records laws. The information provided by his office showed the governor already has allocated $43.7 million to various programs, including $9.8 million to community colleges and $7.3 million to a Highway Patrol trooper school.

Read more:

3/23/11: Lawmakers say Barbour wants $77M cut from budget

House and Senate budget writers say Republican Gov. Haley Barbour wants them to shave $77 million from the spending plan they're proposing for next fiscal year, but it's unclear which agencies or programs would take the brunt of the cuts. Lawmakers are in the final days of the 2011 session and face a Saturday deadline to file a spending plan for fiscal year 2012, which begins July 1.

Read more:

3/22/11: Barbour travel draws concern

Top Democrats in the Mississippi House said Tuesday that Republican Gov. Haley Barbour is making the budget process more difficult with his frequent out-of-state travels as he mulls a possible run for the White House.Legislators face a Saturday deadline to agree on details of a $5.5 billion budget for fiscal 2012, which begins July 1.

Read more:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

3/20/11: Pension fund cut opposed

After years of market losses, a majority of the state's pension board said they will not support skipping a taxpayer-funded increase next year to bolster the retirement system. Gov. Haley Barbour suggested that course, and the state Senate recently passed a bill to do just that. The eight of 10 board members who responded to The Clarion-Ledger's inquiry all said they would oppose efforts to altogether forgo the funding increase that actuaries had suggested to keep the fund solvent.

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3/15/11: Slight increase in revenue predicted for state

The state could see a $20 million boost for critical services next fiscal year as the economy slowly recovers, state revenue estimators said Tuesday. The slight uptick in projected revenue growth amounts to a thimble full of good news as leading legislators head into contentious budget talks on a roughly $5.5 billion spending plan.

Read more:

3/15/11: Senate OKs funding bill for museums

The Senate amended and passed a House bill on Tuesday to issue bonds for the construction of a museum dedicated to the civil rights era and another that showcases the state's overall history. The new Senate amendment alters the funding structure. The Senate version would provide $15 million for the history museum and $15 million for the civil rights museum. It would require a $15 million match from the private sector.

Read more:

3/14/11: Budget talks face key hurdles

Lawmakers have roughly two weeks left to strike a budget deal in order to finish the session on time, as they engage in a tug-of-war for priorities, including K-12 schools, mental health, child welfare services, and health insurance for the poor and disabled. Before the Democratic-led House and the Republican-majority Senate can reconcile their differences on the budget, they have to decide how much to spend.

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3/10/11: Mississippi Senate votes to bolster K-12 funding

The Mississippi Senate voted Wednesday to put $65 million more into elementary and secondary schools than the chamber's money committee had recommended. However, there's no guarantee the spending proposal will survive final budget talks later this month. At issue is $65 million of federal money that the state received last year to help local school districts pay salaries and other expenses to retain jobs. The districts have until September 2012 to spend the money.

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3/8/11: Mississippi lawmaker wants to tax soda, fight obesity

A Mississippi lawmaker said taxing soda could help answer obesity costs. State health officials said Mississippi could spend $4 billion on obesity-related health care within the next decade.

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3/4/11: Earmarks: State could take a big hit

Mississippi stands to take a big hit if Congress goes through with its plans to cut funding and end earmarks. Of immediate concern, the proposed cuts of more than $100 billion would have a perilous impact on research initiatives, totalling half a billion dollars slated for the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, the University of Southern Mississippi and Jackson State University.

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