Mississippi’s 1890 Constitution gave the lion’s share of the power to the Legislature and left the governor with relatively little. It gave the governor the ability to cut selected agency budgets up to 5 percent without getting lawmakers’ approval. But before he can cut more than 5 percent, the constitution says he must cut every agency’s budget 5 percent.
The governor can submit a budget to the Legislature, but the lawmakers don’t have to look at it. In years past, legislative budget writers did the equivalent of tossing the governor’s budget in the trash can and fashioned their own budget.
About the only real power the governor wields is the veto, which requires two-thirds vote in each chamber to override. Two-thirds is a tall threshold to reach and vetoes are rarely overridden.