/Fiscal experience marks lawmakers on tax, budget studies

Fiscal experience marks lawmakers on tax, budget studies

The state’s top elected Republican leadership announced that 18 lawmakers will form a tax study team, while several others will study agency budgets. The groups will work together to achieve “comprehensive tax and budget reform” and search for “unnecessary spendings” and ways to spend money more efficiently. House Speaker Philip Gunn (R-Clinton) announced that he and Lt. Governor had chosen the legislators – 13 Republican and 5 Democrat. Tate Reeves. They will be co-chairing the legislative panels. Gunn stated that some of the decision-making is based upon their chairmanships and others are based on their expertise. Some of it is based on their expressed interest. “Some of it is based upon their expressed interest. Reeves’ Senate Legislative Budget Committee is half of the committee which meets regularly with the Legislative Budget Office, the Revenue Estimating Group and the Legislative Budget Office to finalize the state budget. The group will include the entire membership: Clarke, Filligane and Senate Pro Tempore Terry Burton (R-Newton), Sen. Sally Doty (R-Brookhaven), Sen. Dean Kirby (R-Pearl) and Sen. Willie Simmons (D-Cleveland). Only Smith and Rep. Angela Cockerham (D-Magnolia) are members of the House’s Legislative Budget Committee. Cockerham will also serve as the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which is comprised of 31 members. After former chairman Herb Frierson (R-Poplarville) was named head of the Department of Revenue, the House Appropriations chairmanship remains open. He was sworn into that position July 1. Gunn will make the final decision about who will take over as chairman. The group will include three members of the Senate Appropriations Committee (including Clarke, Burton, and Simmons). Republican leaders, such as Gov. Phil Bryant, were pleased with Thursday’s announcement. Phil Bryant, the Republican leader, thanked Gunn and Reeves for their commitment to “preserving our state’s finances.” Democrats, however, criticised the announcement, pointing out “past financial failures” by Republican leaders. “I applaud them (for their announcement). Bobby Moak, the chairman of Mississippi Democratic Party, said that admitting you have a problem is the first step. “… Now is the time to join the rest logical and reasonable Mississippians, who believe that tax dollars should be used for services they were originally taxed on, and not as campaign donations prizes to politicians’ backers.” Reeves stated that these groups would work hard to make recommendations to the Legislature. Our efforts to reform state government will not end. It doesn’t have a specific time frame, other than the fact that it must be done. Support this work by making a regular donation today to celebrate our Spring Member Drive. This will allow us to continue important work such as this story. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of all Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think.