It is important to view this budget with the understanding that between fiscal year 2012
and FY2016, the amount of general fund dollars used to fund state government rose by
$1.1 billion, or almost 26 percent. That is higher than the growth in revenue collections
and five times higher than the rate of inflation. That kind of growth in spending over such
a short period is simply unsustainable, and must be addressed.
Although this budget anticipates additional revenue of $104.9 million when compared to
FY2017, it puts 2 percent into reserves, unlike previous budget years.
Saving for the Future. This budget maintains my commitment to spending only 98 percent
of available revenues in accordance with Mississippi Code Section 27-103-139. It proposes
to place the remaining $109.6 million in economic damages from the BP settlement in a
new Gulf Coast Restoration Reserve Fund, which would be an additional reserve fund in
FY2018 and could be utilized for Gulf Coast-focused public projects in future years. It
bolsters combined reserves to approximately $417 million, nearly reaching the Rainy Day
Fund’s 7.5 percent legal limit.
Spending Prudently. This budget recommends $5.7 billion in general fund appropriations,
uses no one-time money for recurring expenses and recommends 1.8 percent in
reductions in state support appropriations for most agencies. Like many states,
Mississippi’s annual revenue growth is less than 2 percent. Analysts with the Rockefeller
Institute of Government are labeling the outlook for state budgets as “gloomier and more
uncertain,” making it critical we get the most out of every taxpayer dollar spent.
Prioritizing the Core Functions of Government. This budget maintains level funding for
public safety, military, veterans, emergency management, prosecutors and community
colleges. It invests an additional $16.4 million in the Mississippi Adequate Education
Program, bringing total state support to $2.257 billion. It also provides over $112 million
in state funds to Department of Child Protection Services, a combined two-year
investment of more than $220 million.