Mississippi legislative leaders examine budget requests

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday he wants to know why 15 state economic development employees spent more than $40,000 to participate in this summer’s Mississippi Picnic in New York’s Central Park.

Reeves questioned Mississippi Development Agency Executive Director Brent Christensen over how he spends state tax dollars in flying around the world to recruit industry and promote tourism for Mississippi.

The hard questions came at the conclusion of the first day of the State Legislature’s annual Joint Legislative Budget Committee meetings, four days of give-and-take between state agency heads and legislative budget leaders.

During the sessions, agency heads routinely tout how well they’ve been managing their agencies, then present their spending requests for the coming year.

The sessions, which conclude Thursday afternoon, are the first step legislators take in developing a spending plan for the 2015 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Commercial Appeal