When did Mississippi finally take control of its economy?
A year ago, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed the state’s first budget in decades.
The budget called for massive tax cuts, a reduction in income tax rates and a drastic increase in school aid.
But the state has been unable to implement those measures and is now struggling to meet the state and federal poverty guidelines.
Now, the governor is calling for a second budget.
“The Mississippi economy has been in a tailspin,” Bryant said in a statement.
“The state is facing a dire fiscal situation.
It is time to make some tough choices, to take action to get our economy back on track, and to restore Mississippi to the status it once was.”
Bryant said he was confident in the budget’s measures to help the state.
“While some of the proposals in the first budget did nothing more than slash funding for education and health care, I am confident that they will help restore Mississippi’s prosperity and deliver a lasting economic recovery,” he said.
Bryant’s budget also includes some tax cuts and increases in income taxes, and it includes a number of measures aimed at reducing Mississippi’s $1.9 billion deficit over the next four years.
“I have not taken any new money away from the state, nor will I,” Bryant told reporters at a press conference this week.
“What I have done is made a very simple and very conservative and reasonable choice, which is to put our priorities in order, to get the budget done and put the budget back on the ballot.”
However, the budget also included several measures that would affect businesses, including eliminating the state-mandated business-tax exemption.
The budget also calls for the state to implement the cuts that it announced in February, and for the legislature to pass a bill to raise income taxes on most Mississippians.
What does the budget mean for the Mississippi economy?
It means the state will have to take a big step back from the job-creating potential it had under Governor Phil Jackson.
“We’re not going to be able to grow our economy the way we were doing under Jackson, and we’re going to have to look at some of those things, and then maybe we’ll do some of them under the new administration,” Bryant’s budget director, Steve Loeffler, said in an interview with the Associated Press.
However he added that “we’re going in the right direction.”
“Mississippi is the best state in the nation in terms of job creation,” Loefler said.
“It has the highest percentage of new jobs in the country.
Mississippians are working hard.
It’s not a job-killing state.
It has some of our best job creators.”
The state’s unemployment rate is currently at 6.4%, down from the 9.5% rate that it reached in December.
Will it happen?
Yes, it’s happening.
The governor is expected to sign the budget into law on Monday.