The budget adopted by the Legislature is nearly $6.3 billion.
The Mississippi Legislature has adopted a budget for the 2023 Fiscal Year at just under $6.3 billion from the state’s portion. This number falls well below the estimated $6.987 billion in revenue estimates for FY 2023 and includes a massive teacher pay raise and income tax cut.
The teacher pay raise from this year accounts for $246 million over last year’s budget and the tax cut bill will see a drop in $525 million per year until 2026. Both account for the largest teacher pay raise and tax cut in the state’s history.
Overall, the majority of agencies received increases to their budget. Only 10 agencies took a hit when it comes to funding. Some of those cuts were from increases in the FY 2022 appropriations due to COVID-19 such as within the Department of Finance and Administration. Other budget items lost complete funding this year, namely Judgements and Settlements, License Tag Commission and Oil & Gas Board.
One of the most important things to note is that the Legislature did not submit a traditional bond bill this year, which means the state will incur no additional debt. Sen. Briggs Hopson, Chairman of Senate Appropriations, said he is hopeful that this is a measure they can continue to maintain.
The state’s total portion of the education budget shows a 12.28% increase and comes just under $3 billion in total. This included the teacher pay raise as well as increases to vocational and technical education, the Educational Television Authority, and Library Commission.
Mississippi’s universities also saw a 17.60% budget increase with general support receiving an additional $105.1 million. UMMC saw a 6.73% increase whereas multiple Mississippi State University agricultural and wildlife programs saw incremental percentage increases of funding.
The Secretary of State’s office received a significant increase in funds due to an effort to reform how Mississippians cast a ballot. The effort would replace electronic ballot capability and use paper ballot procedures across the state. The department saw a 58.88% increase in their budget from $13.2 million to $21 million for FY 2023.
The Mississippi State Department of Health budget increased by 26.69%. Much of these funds will go to operating the new medical marijuana program that was passed during the 2022 session.
The Department of Public Safety will see a raise for their officers across the board in this year’s appropriation. The total monies sent to DPS total $147 million, a 34.88% increase over FY2022.
Another important action item for the House and Senate this year was providing funds to restore, maintain and revamp Mississippi’s state parks. The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and parks saw a 104.52% increase which comes out to a roughly $10 million increase to the department’s budget.
The state increased their Disaster Relief Program by $5 million. This was a significant change to the programs FY 2022 re-appropriation of $585,056.
The Arts Commission saw a major increase of $4.2 million to the FY 2022 budget of $1.7 million. Of the new dollars appropriated, $3 million will go toward credits for the Capitol Expense Fund for the Building Fund for the Arts Initiative. An additional $1.5 million to the Education Enhancement Fund.
It is important to note that these budget appropriations do not include American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that were also obligated during the 2022 session.
READ THE FULL BUDGET REPORT BELOW: