Monday, November 17, 2014

Governor issues budget recommendations

Governor Phil Bryant issued the following press release:

Governor Bryant Releases FY 2016 Executive Budget Recommendation

JACKSON—Governor Phil Bryant presented his Fiscal Year 2016 budget to the Legislature today, calling for a tax credit for working Mississippi families and increasing funding for public education by over $52 million.
“Mississippi should start fiscal year 2016 in the best financial health it’s ever had.  This budget addresses the needs of the state while giving back money to the hard working families of Mississippi,” Gov. Bryant said. “The increase in revenues is an opportunity to return money to the taxpayers, not to spend more on government programs.”
This tax credit will allow low to moderate income working families the opportunity to take advantage of a nonrefundable tax credit.  This will allow for full or partial relief of an individual’s income tax liability depending on his or her income and filing status.
“I believe the additional money Mississippians will save on taxes will be reinvested in the state’s economy,” Gov. Bryant said. “I look forward to working with the Legislature in providing tax relief to working families, as well as finding ways to reduce the tax burden on small businesses and corporations.”
To make sure the state is protected during uncertain economic times, the tax credit will only be available in years when the “Rainy Day Fund” is full and revenue estimates meet or exceed 3 percent growth.
Gov. Bryant’s $6.2 billion conservative, balanced budget does not spend any one-time revenue on recurring expenses for the second year in a row.  It uses the General Fund Revenue estimate jointly adopted on November 10 of $5.6 billion and has additional state support funds totaling $567 million.  The FY 2016 General Fund revenue estimate reflects 3 percent growth over FY 2015.
“I commend the Legislature for heeding my call to fill the Rainy Day Fund during last year’s State of the State address.  It’s now at its statutory limit of 7.5 percent of appropriated funds and this will shield the state from effects of the unexpected, like an economic downturn or natural disaster.”
Gov. Bryant’s budget will request that the 2 percent set aside rule, which has been used in past years, be suspended due to the “Rainy Day Fund” being full. 
Total funding for the MAEP will reach $2.187 billion with a $52.7 million increase in the MAEP formula.
The budget again includes $15 million in funding for the implementation of the Third Grade Reading Gate and $3 million for the Early Learning Collaborative Program.  Gov. Bryant’s budget also maintains the commitment of $2,500 pay raises for teachers and meets the full request of $22.6 million for the National Board Certified Teacher Program.
Additionally, an increase of $2.8 million is included for student financial aid programs at the Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning to provide financial assistance for students attending colleges and universities.
“It is critical we continue to support and target key areas that help lead to education success for our students,” Gov. Bryant said. “I will ask the legislature to create the Mississippi Works Scholarship Program which will help students attain additional education and certifications at community colleges as a continuation of the tech prep programs they are participating in at the high school level.”
$3 million is included in the budget for the creation of the Mississippi Works Scholarship Program. Overall spending for public education is $2.5 billion for the 2016 budget period.
Additional budget highlights include:
Economic Development:
  • An additional $5.1 million for the tourism budget to expand outreach
  • An additional $1.1 million for site development grants and marketing
  • Recommends continued funding of $52 million of state support funds to the Office of State Aid Road Construction

Public Safety:
  • Level funds military department and veterans’ affairs
  • Recommends 3 percent pay increase for on the road troopers and employees of the driver services division of the Department of Public Safety
  • Maintains commitment of Driver License Modernization

  • Level funding of MDOC at $346 million

Judicial System:
  • Additional $329,000 for needs of more district attorneys across the state

Emergency Management
  • Maintains level funding for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
  • Recommends a funding increase of $2 million for the Wireless Communications Commission (WCC) which manages the MSWIN System for first responder communication.  Total  WCC funding recommendation is $10 million

  • $2 million for the Jackson State University School of Public Health
  • Budget includes $1.5 million for the Maternal and Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative that’s to be administered by the Department of Health
  • Budget recommends $1.2 million for universities and community colleges to combat teen pregnancy, due to the highest percentage of teen pregnancies occurring in teens between 18 and 19 years old

  • This budget maintains the legislative position of funding the Division of Medicaid at previous year’s levels, and Gov. Bryant will work with the Legislature and the Division of Medicaid to support proper funding in the upcoming session

Additional Recommendation:
  • Budget includes $11.75 million of premium increase to state health plan
  • Budget sets aside $50 million for the Capital Expense Fund that’s to be properly managed and spent on true capital needs 
  • Budget sets aside $385 million for debt service but the number is fluid due to bond issuance
Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves issued this statement: 
“Governor Bryant is exactly right when he says Mississippi is in the best financial health in its history,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. “I appreciate his support of giving the taxpayers a pay raise, and I look forward to working with him and Speaker Gunn to develop a long-term plan.”


    Anonymous said...

    MDOC's budget should be reduced by at least 10% now that Epps Strategies has been fired. Their no bid contracts and consulting fees have ended until the next group gets in. The taxpayers deserve a bigger payday, especially those that really pay taxes.

    Anonymous said...

    If state hurting so bad for money why has ummc announced raises for everyone on december check?

    Anonymous said...

    If state hurting so bad for money why has ummc announced raises for everyone on december check?

    Anonymous said...

    I believe that DPS diverted $2,000,000.00 last year allocated by the legislature for cars and put it to raises of troopers. Now Phil wants to give them another 3%.

    Anonymous said...

    "If state hurting so bad for money why has ummc announced raises for everyone on december check? "

    I hadn't heard that, nor has my wife (a UMMC employee).

    UMMC used to pay 12 monthly checks, then went to 26 biweekly checks, with 24 withholdings for taxes, parking, insurance, etc.

    Traditionally the 26th check (the last one in December) did not have anything withheld, and you may be confusing things with that. State employees can't get a raise unless the legislature authorizes one according to HR at UMMC, unless that has changed.

    Strangely the legislature only seemed to authorize raises in years that coincided with statewide elections. Hhhmmmm.

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    Trollfest '09

    Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

    Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

    Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

    Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

    In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

    In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

    Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

    Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

    This is definitely a Beaver production.

    Note: Security provided by INS.

    Trollfest '07

    Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

    There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

    If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

    This is definitely a Beaver production.

    Note: Security provided by INS