Gov. Proposes Budget Changes

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Gov. Ronnie Musgrove announced he wants to change the way Mississippi starts its budget process. While Musgrove said the change is not a power grab, House Appropriations Chairman Charlie Capps says it could be.

Capps said the budget process has problems, but the Legislature is not likely to rush into changes. Right now, a five-member group recommends how much money might be available to spend each year.

The Legislative Budget Committee decides whether to accept that figure as the basis for writing state spending plans. The five members of the group are the treasurer, the state economist, the state fiscal officer, the state tax commission director and the director of the Legislative Budget Office.

Musgrove said he wants to eliminate the five-member group and replace it with a six-person group of bankers and business people, with at least one person holding a doctorate in economics.

The governor would appoint all six members of the new board. And legislators would have to accept the group's recommendation; they would not have the option of rejecting it.