/Lawmakers preparing for special session even without official notice

Lawmakers preparing for special session even without official notice

The governor is the only legal person who can call a special session. He has yet to confirm whether he will summon lawmakers under the dome. Economists predict that the state will not meet its revenue projections within 10 days of the end of the current fiscal years, which would likely mean the state’s budget won’t be balanced. Mississippi Today received Monday morning statements from three lobbyists and four legislators that they were ready to travel to Washington to witness Bryant’s special session. “Gov. Bryant is closely monitoring revenues and expenses for state government. He will take appropriate actions to balance the budget, Clay Chandler, Bryant’s spokesperson said. “That includes Bryant’s constitutional right to call a special session, as necessary.” The state law requires that the governor maintain a balanced budget. The state had received $203.3 million less in revenue than was expected at that point. Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves stated that the state must collect between $725 and $750 millions in June revenue to balance its budget. This total would be a minimum 13-year record. Monday morning, Reeves’ office stated that they were not made aware of any special sessions. Bryant would likely have to transfer money from the reserve accounts to the general fund if there is a shortfall. Six funds, totaling $481.1million, include $393 million in the Rainy Day Fund can be used to offset any possible shortfalls at month’s end. Bryant has already pulled $45.2million from the Rainy Day Fund in this fiscal year to offset lower than expected revenue. However, he has only the legal authority to withdraw $50 million each fiscal year from that fund. The Legislature would need to meet in Jackson to approve any request for more than $4.8million from the Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget. A special session has been requested by many lawmakers and elected officials from the states. Recently, Democratic lawmakers called for a special session in order to address budget concerns. This is the same session that was requested by state elected officials. Officials have also been criticized for passing a law that moves certain special funds into general fund, and prohibits inter-agency transfers. Numerous agency heads have publicly criticised state leaders in planning their fiscal year budgets. According to a report released by the office last week, the Legislative Budget Office anticipates using more than $54million in special fund sweeps this fiscal year’s budget. The governor must call a special session immediately to address this budget crisis. This is the only way to stop the runaway train and restore fiscal stability, said Rep. David Baria (D-Bay St. Louis), who is House minority leader. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to the House Member Drive today. 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.