AP Analysis: Miss. budgeting is intentionally complex

Writing a state budget is a mind-numbingly complicated business, and all the players at the Mississippi Capitol try to use that to their advantage as they toss around numbers that are difficult to put in context.

Would education, health care and prisons receive more money, or less, next year under the proposed House budget? What about under the Senate budget? Or the governor’s?

Until a final budget is adopted, it’ll be difficult for most people to get straightforward answers to what should be simple inquiries about where tax dollars might go during the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Compounding the problem, most of the budget negotiations this year have been taking place in closed-door meetings, despite lawmakers’ promise several years ago that they’d conduct the public’s business in public.