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Special session on the horizon? Only Governor Bryant knows for sure
Call likely limited to FY 2016 shortfall

by Frank Corder
Only Gov. Phil Bryant knows for sure if and when a special session will be called, but rumors are swirling that one may be on the horizon.

House Democrats want a full state budget redo.

That isn't happening.

Coast legislators want to address where and when the BP millions will be spent.

I'm not sure that would be advantageous for their constituents.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann wants to get his election reforms passed now rather than later.

He'll probably have to wait until next year.

The scope of any special session call is likely to be limited to addressing the FY 2016 budget shortfall, at least that's the general thinking among legislators I've spoken with.

If that is indeed the case, the call for a special session may go out for the week after next.

State revenues continue to be sluggish, especially following an April report showing the state was $85 million below estimates. Gov. Bryant ordered $25 million in cuts in April and took $10 million from the rainy day fund.

The May report was slightly better - less than 1% higher than the official estimate - far from enough to fill the gap.

Legislative budget writers also have a $56 million staff error looming for the FY 2017 budget. Although it doesn't effect this budget year and could be resolved in the 2017 session or if revenues improve, the issue could be something the Governor seeks legislative action on now.

Posted June 10, 2016 - 3:43 pm

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