Miss. House votes to alter budget process

The Mississippi House voted Monday to change the state budget process in a way some members call unfair and others call accountable.

The change is part of a resolution that would set the joint operating rules of the House and Senate for the four-year term that started last month. It says any lawmaker who wants to add money to a program, such as education, must cut that same amount from other programs.

“It’s just good, sound budget policy,” said House Rules Committee Chairman Mark Formby, R-Picayune.

Until now, people who wanted to increase spending in one area didn’t have to say where other cuts should be made. House and Senate leaders negotiated to cut other programs or to pull money from financial reserves. Some spending proposals died.