When he and his fellow members of the Legislative Budget Committee recently released their recommendation for the upcoming fiscal year, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, quipped that only two numbers in the document had any relevance – a telephone number on the front of the document and the revenue estimate used to develop the proposal.
At one time, the release of the budget proposal by the powerful 14-member committee, which includes the House speaker and lieutenant governor, was a big deal.
The recommendation, made in late November or early December, was viewed as the guidepost for the full Legislature to use in developing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which always begins July 1.
It was often joked that the governor’s budget proposal, released about the same time, was tossed in the garbage while the Legislative Budget Committee’s recommendation was viewed as the gold standard. Nowadays, the committee recommendation is probably chunked in the garbage alongside the governor’s proposal.