Governor Bryant’s recommended funding levels for 2016

November 26th, 2014

Governor Bryant’s recent budget recommendation includes a 1.67% total budget increase of roughly $102 million. While the budget includes provisions that would support working families (i.e. the Working Families Tax Credit, workforce training programs, and an increase in state financial aid), key areas such as education and healthcare continue to be underfunded.

The table below provides a snapshot of the amount of recommended funding for 2016 compared with 2015.  Goveronors Budget FY16 versus FY15-01Bryant’s budget recommendation includes a small increase for schools at $52.7 million—leaving a large gap between full funding and actual funding for next year and still below 2008’s pre-recession school funding levels. Public education programs that are not a part of the MAEP school funding formula would see a $3.2 million cut, this includes a 20% cut for the Educational Television Authority.

Budget increases are recommended for, among other things, the Department of Human Services to comply with a child protection lawsuit, the Department of Public Health for prenatal health, the Mississippi Development Authority for tourism promotion, and the Department of Revenue for new auditors. The Governor did not recommend an increase in the Medicaid budget, even though an increase in cost is expected.

Despite the inclusion items that will help working Mississippi families, like the Working Families Tax Credit, workforce training programs and increased funding for state financial aid, the continued underfunding and underinvestment of public schools and healthcare systems remain troublesome. It is important for the state to focus its efforts on investing in people and providing struggling families with the tools they need for future prosperity.