JACKSON, Miss.–Stressing fiscal responsibility, Gov. Phil Bryant released his yearly budget recommendation Wednesday at the state capitol. The budget includes no new taxes, would level fund MAEP and state-supported colleges and would add some money to community colleges.
“Revenues are up,” said Bryant. He said the state ought to save the $140 million that came in on top of the estimated revenue for FY 2014.
“This budget also says take the formula that we’re using for capital funds and use cash to repair our buildings and use cash and stop bonding those,” he said. That includes $16 million for repairs at K-12 schools.
The governor’s budget is only one recommendation and must be agreed upon by the legislature, which will have their own recommendations from the House and Senate side.
Bryant also stressed the need to put money in the state’s rainy day fund, which would have about $200 million in it, according to his budget. He said his goal was to see the fund stocked to the max of $400 million within a year’s time.
The budget would fund a new trooper school to put about 60 more troopers on the road.
“We’re 50 or so short of the number of troopers we need,” he said. “To do otherwise endangers people that are on the highways.”
The budget would also replace over 70 MHP patrol cars and buy the troopers bullet-proof vests to replace the ones they have now, which are out of warranty in 2015 and will go to local law enforcement.
The budget also includes $8 million to expand community health centers that serve people below the poverty line.
As for any possibility of expanding Medicaid, the governor gave News Mississippi a very definite “no”.
“Absolutely not. If you look at where the Obama health plan is now, it’s a total disaster. It’s a disaster that I think even the Democrats in the U.S. Congress and Senate will be taking a second look at and hopefully postpone it,” he said.
As far as other medical and health care-related costs, Bryant’s budget would fund scholarships for doctors and dentists and would also provide money to help finish the new medical school for the University of Miss.
The budget would also fund the Miss. Development Authority and stress getting more jobs to the state