Democrats claim state budget crisis - - Jackson, MS

Democrats claim state budget crisis

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

There are both warnings and mixed messages on the status of Mississippi's budget. 

Republican leadership is trying to calm fears and say Mississippi is in a good fiscal position. 

Meanwhile, Democrats are painting a picture of doom.

"Where does this spiraling hell hole end?" asked Representative Earle Banks. "It's got to stop and we've got to turn it around."

House Democrats are angry with, what they call, an unbalanced budget.

"Mississippi's one of the poorest states in the nation," added Banks. "We have to be more conservative on how we give tax cuts. We talk about being conservative on spending money, but we need to be conservative on how we give out tax cuts also."

That has been a sticking point since the session.

The Republican super majority never denied revenue was sluggish.

"I believe we had to revise the numbers down three different times, before the end of the session, which is very, very unusual," noted Representative John Moore.

Democrats expressed concerned over the impact of both tax and budget cuts.

Now, they say the domino effect is coming into focus.

Minority Caucus leader David Baria released a statement saying: "When the state fiscal year ends, on June 30, we will not be able to pay all our bills. The state checking account will be $50 to $60 million in the red."

"I kind of agree, but it's not going to be a catastrophe or anything," admitted Moore.

Moore said that's why we have the rainy day fund, to pad the slow years.

He noted that a $60 million shortfall would amount to one percent of the state's revenue.

"There's a lot of complaints and fussin' and scare tactics going on by the minority party," said Moore.

Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeve's office said it will take in the range of $725-750 million in collections this month, to overcome the shortfall.

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