State Budget Hearings Begin

September 30th, 2014

This week the Joint Legislative Budget Committee will hold budget hearings where agency heads will present information about their needs for the coming year and revenue-after-recessionanswer questions from lawmakers.

Many agencies are looking to request restored investments in their key services that have endured multiple rounds of budget cuts due to the recession. Agency budget needs almost always outpace the revenue available, so tough choices must be made.

A few things to watch for:
How will the budget add up with impending tax cut proposals?
One thing that remains to be seen is how potential tax cut proposals will fit into next year’s budget picture. Revenues have rebounded from the deep trough of the recession, however, we do not have enough revenue to adequately invest in K-12 education, higher education, healthcare, and public safety. These services are key for our state’s workforce development, economic competitiveness and improved quality of life for Mississippians.

What will the new focus on performance based budget look like?
This year brings a renewed focus on performance based budgeting practices. Performance and efficiency measures are important management tools. However, public budget decisions should be based on our state’s priorities. Additionally, performance evaluation should take into account underfunding and outside factors that influence agency outcomes. Public services are inherently complicated with multiple outside influences. For more information about Performance Based Budgeting see here.

Stay tuned to the MEPC blog and follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the week on the Budget Hearings.