Rep. Snowden – ‘Lesson Learned’ from budgeting compromise

According to overnight news reports, Senate and House budget negotiators reached agreement late Wednesday night on the details of the FY 2012 budget. This is good news, but hardly surprising. Negotiating a compromise is simply what conferees do (except in redistricting, apparently, where the Speaker refuses to even appoint conferees in the first place).

The Mississippi Legislature experienced a debacle in 2009 when budget deadlines continually were extended, thereby easing the pressure on conferees to get their work done on time. It was June 30 before the Legislature finally adopted a state budget that would go into effect the very next day.

Last year, budget negotiations again were stalled, and an effort was made to extend the regular session to push back deadlines and to ease negotiating pressure on the conferees. House Republicans, acting all alone, stood up and said “no.” (No one initially agreed with us, not the Senate, the governor, nor certainly House Democrats).

Clarion Ledger
3/31/11