Sound Off on Mississippi's Budget

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

"Well it's ugly."

Those are the words Mississippi Senator Videt Carmichael of District 33 used to describe the most recent round of budget cuts for the state. Now that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has made a third round of cuts, Senator Carmichael doesn't see things getting much better right away.

"Anytime you have to cut budgets like we've had to do, and now the governor has had to do again, I've been telling people all along, it's ugly and it's probably going to get uglier," explains Senator Carmichael.

These budget cuts will impact various state agencies. Senator Carmichael, along with State Representative Greg Snowden of District 33 believe school districts will be one of the agencies to take a hit because they will not be able to handle the cuts.

"So when that happens, it passes along to the local people again, so consequently their taxes or their part of the income for the schools is going to have to go up. So there's not a pretty picture in this for anybody," says Senator Carmichael.

"Then when projections come in about additional moneys or new moneys, growth in other words, those moneys are assigned to high priority areas like education, health care, those sorts of things. Well when we do that and the revenues don't come in, it's kind of hard to back out of that kind of budgeting without taking money away from those growth areas, education, health care, and those high priority areas that we really want to fund more," explains Congressman Greg Snowden.

With few options left, Senator Carmichael and Representative Snowden think 'rainy day' funds will need to be used.

"We're going to have to use some of that and probably going to have to use more than what the governor thinks he can spare at this time. I can see us diving in a little deeper than we need to because we have to," says Senator Carmichael.

"That's why it's so important to try to maintain some of this 'rainy day' fund because we are going to need some for the current budget we are putting together, plus next year's budget, and perhaps even the year beyond that," says Congressman Snowden.

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