Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Agreement Reached on FY 2010 Budget

Last night, the Mississippi Legislature achieved some resolution on the fiscal year 2010 budget. While more cuts appear likely unless the economy dramatically turns around in the next month or so, SB 2495 makes deficit appropriations to several state agencies.

After nearly a two-month long back and forth between the House and Senate, along with a failed attempt to override the Governor's veto on SB 2688, the conferees for SB 2495 agreed to terms late yesterday, with the Governor in reluctant agreement.

I expect we'll vote on the bill first thing this morning.

The agreement isn't perfect. There's no money for IHL, even though the Governor agreed to give $4.4 million of stimulus money to community and junior colleges. This is very disheartening to me, and I'm sure it's disheartening to the entire Southern Miss community, where huge budget shortfalls are putting jobs and programs in potential jeopardy.

Here's how most of the money would break down:

MAEP for FY 2010 - $33.9 million (same amount as was in SB 2688)
National Board Certification - $2 million
IHL - $0
IHL Financial Aid - $0
Dept. of Mental Health - $4 million
Dept. of Corrections - $16 million
District Attorneys - $1.4 million
Highway Patrol - $1.76 million
Veterans Affairs - $1.1 million

The $82 million package came from the Health Care Expendable Fund (Tobacco Trust Fund), Public Service Commission, MAEP carry-over and Medicaid Clawback Credits.

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