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Legislature Increases Budget Estimate, More Funds Available to Restore Investments in State Priorities

March 25th, 2014

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee adopted new revenue estimates this morning, increasing funding available by a total of $246.7 million.  This money will be available to lawmakers in the House and Senate as they complete budget negotiations over the next few days.

The committee heard from the Revenue Estimating Group who recommended the increase to FY2014 and FY 2015 revenue estimates, in the amount of $149.9 million and $97.7 million, respectively.

Lt. Governor, Tate Reeves reiterated his position that no one-time funds be used for recurring expenses in next year’s budget.  Within the revenue increase for FY 2014, is about $70 million in court settlement funds.  These may be considered one-time funds by lawmakers, and may not be included in the general budget.

In their original budget recommendation, the JLBC recommended that no one-time funds be spent on what they consider to be recurring expenses—leaving $548 million in reserves.  Those reserves would be made up of all current reserve funds and the addition of next year’s budget’s 2% general fund set aside that is required by law.

Some of the issues that have been debated throughout the session as possibilities if funding were to increase are teacher pay raises, a state trooper school, increases to education funding through the MAEP, and state employee pay raises.

Stay tuned for another blog post later this week that digs deeper into the issues surrounding the use of one-time funds.

Sara Miller

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