JACKSON– The Mississippi Senate continued work Thursday after budget negotiators agreed to $5.4 billion in state revenue for crafting the fiscal 2011 budget.

“Agreeing upon our revenue is the most challenging part of the budget process, and today’s action by the Senate and House budget negotiators allows us to now start finalizing a fiscal 2011 budget,” said Lt. Governor Phil Bryant. “In small businesses and even at home, we begin building our budget with how much revenue we have coming in, not with how much is going out. Crafting a state budget should be no different. Much progress is being made; however, significant challenges remain.”

The Senate will continue to move on legislation not affected by the current deadlines and will take-up HCR 121 that provides for the legislature to return on April 20th.

Bryant said, “It is my intention to take-up HCR 121 and finish taking up all other legislation. This is only being done to avoid a special session and the additional costs of having a special session. Budget negotiators will be meeting during this 19 day recess rather than having the full senate here and wasting taxpayer money.”
April 3 is the original deadline for the 90-day legislative session. Extending the session does not add days to the allotted 90 day session and provides remaining days when legislators return April 20th. Legislators also do not receive additional pay during the recess.
Other states have adopted budgets based on the anticipation that the federal government will increase the federal funding for Medicaid. That increase could result in Mississippi receiving approximately $187 million. Mississippi budget negotiators began talk of a 19 day recess to allow time for the federal government to approve this additional revenue.

Bryant Press