Local lawmaker weighs in on state budget requests

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Mississippi political leaders held budget hearings this week and as expected, multiple state agencies are requesting additional funds next year.

The joint legislative budget committee held a hearing in Jackson to discuss the states 6 billion dollar budget. The budget is expected to be about $329 million less than the current fiscal year budget.

"For this year alone, all of the state agencies have requested an additional 830-plus million in addition to what we had last year. Well, the problem is, if we have a good year revenue wise, we're probably going to bring in about $150 million in 'new dollars'. So clearly we don't have $830 million to spread around. So we're going to have to make some tough decisions," Representative Greg Snowden said.

Republican leaders say they want to cut government spending or slow down the rate of spending growth. That could mean substantial cuts for many state agencies which are asking for more money.

"The truth is, the legislature cut our own over 3% last year, and have projected to cut it over 11% this year. So, the important point here is we're not asking state agencies or tax payers to do something we're not willing to do. We're setting the examples ourselves," Snowden said.

The 2018 fiscal budget goes into effect July 1st.