Mississippi state budget is expected to shrink slightly in the coming year

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Budget writers in the Mississippi Legislature will have slightly less money to spend during the coming year than they did in the current one.Top members of the House and Senate met Friday and set a revenue estimate of $7.6 billion for the year that begins July 1. That is a decrease of 1% from the current year.REPUBLICAN-LED MISSISSIPPI HOUSE ADVANCES MEDICAID EXPANSION PROPOSAL, MOVES ON TO SENATEThe estimate is experts’ best guess of how much money the state will collect, based on economic trends including employment rates and consumer spending patterns.Legislators are in a four-month session that is scheduled to end in early May. During the next few weeks, they are supposed to finish writing the budget for the coming year, deciding how much to spend on schools, prisons, health care and other services.Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said Friday that legislators will be prudent with money.Mississippi is in the process of reducing its personal income tax under a law that Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed in 2022. In his budget proposal released in February, Reeves said he wants to erase the tax by 2029. Hosemann said Friday that he does not expect movement in that direction this year.”I can’t speak for the House. But for the Senate side, I don’t think we’re going to have any income tax cuts,” Hosemann told reporters.It has been months since state agencies submitted the budget requests for the coming year. Legislators rarely give agencies all the money they seek, and House Appropriations Committee Chairman John Read said that’s likely to be the case again this session.”I’m going to do as much as I can,” said Read, a Republican from Gautier. “We get requests. There’s no way I can do 100% of requests, so I tell people to give me a priority list, and that’s what I go on. We try to help everyone.”
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