By the (Tupelo) Northeast Miss Daily Journal:
Mississippi’s 2014 revenue estimate, approved by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and Gov. Phil Bryant, begins the long process of agreeing on state spending priorities for the budget cycle beginning July 1, 2013, and almost certainly some adjusted spending for the current budget because of a revised, higher revenue estimate.
The 14-member committee, by law, sets the revenue estimate every year before the next legislative session convenes, and the governor must concur.
In most years that’s about as far as agreement extends because what the governor proposes will be followed by what the Legislature proposes, followed by the debates in the session.
The $5.02 billion estimate for 2014 is 1.6 percent higher than 2013 revenues, which is mildly encouraging, but in almost the same breath the state’s chief economist, Darrin Webb, says we’re still in a mild recession that started earlier in 2012, but we could pull out of it this quarter.
The official economic forecast from Webb and the other experts operating under the umbrella of the public universities has been consistently very cautious since late 2007.
The official economic forecast for the fourth quarter released this month explains Mississippi’s situation in more detail:
— The growth rates of output and employment in Mississippi have been lower than the U.S. rates this year. The annual growth rate of real output in 2012 is expected to be under 1 percent, but will gradually accelerate in the coming years, reaching a peak of 2.7 percent in 2015.
— Employment in the state has fallen every year since 2007, and no growth is expected in 2012. — The heavy reliance on lower-skill workers is more vulnerable to cuts, due both to competition from imports and to changing consumer preferences, which are shifting toward technology-related services. Professional and business employment has expanded at rates of over 3 percent nationally since 2010. Mississippi growth here has turned negative, with the demand for professional, scientific and technical services hit especially hard.
The health care, transportation/utilities and government sectors are the only ones with positive growth since 2008. Along with making a budget, basic re-examination of our developmental liabilities is in order.
By the (Tupelo) Northeast Miss Daily Journal:
Gov. Bryant’s mulishness costing state
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With voter ID now law, we must protect right for all who are eligible
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State should make vendor access easier
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New tuition gap may have unintended consequences
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State, local gov’ts work to support Corps facilities
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Lawmaker wants poultry label law
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Spend wisely every penny of settlement money for BP oil spill
Over the next five years, the state of Mississippi will receive its portion of the financial settlement of criminal charges against BP and Transocean for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The $356 million is a significant amount, and its wise outlay can do much to restore the damage done to the Gulf and our most precious natural resources.
State pension results in eye of beholder
Mississippi’s public employee pension fund saw its financial position improve last year.
Or it didn’t.
Miss. schools need action, latest NEAP scores show
The National Center for Education Statistics released its 2013 Nation’s Report Card on Thursday, and the news for Mississippi was mixed, at best.
Philippines storm sparks memories on Coast, we must send aid
It is difficult to look at the scenes of utter devastation in the Philippines and not recall a landscape of great similarity that we all saw when Katrina swept away the Mississippi Coast on that late August day of fury.
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