Since 2012, Mississippi has added more than 60,000 jobs. In response, our unemployment rate has reached historic lows. For the first time ever, Area Development magazine awarded Mississippi a gold shovel for excellence in economic development. With the help of legislative leadership, we have created a tax and regulatory climate that routinely places Mississippi at or near the top of every measurement as it relates to ease and cost of doing business. Innovation thrives in our economy because we believe in empowering the private sector, not unnecessarily restricting it. We have guaranteed equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.
With great delight, I can report that, for the first time in eight years, we have a partner inthe federal government that understands a nation and its people can flourish only when government gets out of the way, and intends to take precisely the money it needs to fund core functions, not a penny more. Cooperative federalism is now the norm among our nation’s leadership. President Trump’s administration has loosened the regulatory reins on our economy, injected badly needed confidence and optimism and given businesses the tools they need to grow and excel. Like Mississippi, the U.S. unemployment rate is at levels unseen for decades and unimagined as recently as a year ago. Mississippi is expected to experience three consecutive years of growth in overall economic output for the first time since the Great Recession. More of our third graders are reading at grade level than ever before. Our high school graduation rate has never been higher.
We have reached these milestones only by working together to apply good policy to every corner of government. Nowhere is that more important than the process of crafting our budget. We must remain disciplined, careful and thoughtful when we decide how to spend money that does not belong to us, but to taxpayers, who worked so hard to earn it. I am fulfilling my statutory responsibility with this Executive Budget Recommendation. But, I would be remiss if I did not point out that this is more than a collection of suggestions on funding government. This is a roadmap to fiscal stability that will prepare us for the unexpected and drive us to heights yet unseen.
That does not mean it will be easy. As always, some challenges can only be met with solutions that are not popular. Tough decisions are a fact of life in governing, not an inconvenience to be ignored. There has never been enough money to go around to satisfy all the demands put on it. This year will be no different.
I am optimistic we can build on the successes I have already mentioned. This budget and the principles on which it relies will help us do that. We must take every care to spend prudently, prioritize core functions of government, continue to maximize efficiencies, spend only 98 percent of available revenue and fortify our savings. Taxpayers deserve nothing less.
FY2019 Executive Budget Recommendation
2019 Budget Performance Measures