House Bill 1523 is bad policy bringing horrible PR to the state that can least afford any more such branding. It won’t stand up to constitutional challenges. It’s also fiddling while Rome burns.
From the estimate lawmakers used to set the current year’s budget, state revenue is down nearly $80 million. Gov. Phil Bryant has already been forced make mid-year cuts of $40 million and dip into the rainy-day fund for more than $35 million.
Year-to-date, not counting lawsuit settlements, state revenue is slightly below last year’s collections for the first time since the Great Recession.
Meanwhile, the state’s business and transportation leaders are warning that our roads and bridges are crumbling for a lack of maintenance to the tune of more than $500 million a year. K-12 and higher education leaders warn the state will fall further behind without more funding.