School Funding Conference Report Filed

Posted 4/16/16

Legislators met their 8:00 p.m. deadline tonight by filing "dummy" conference reports on some budget bills, including HB 1643, the K-12 appropriation. Dummy budget bills are placeholders that include $0.00 in the line items. A dummy tax-cut bill with a reverse repealer was also filed.

The appropriations chairs reported that the dummy bills were necessary because the staff did not have time to prepare the bills.

At mid-afternoon today, the appropriations chairs announced they had reached a deal, and that the MAEP was the only area of the state budget not to suffer cuts. They reported that other areas of the K-12 budget would receive reduced funding, but provided no details. State agency budgets are being cut because revenue for the current year is projected to come in below last year's take - something that rarely occurs. Much of the shortfall is due to hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate tax breaks enacted by the Legislature in recent years.

Sources tell us that Lt. Gov. Reeves is insisting on even more corporate tax cuts, and that a bond bill for universities, community colleges, and other projects hangs in the balance.

Legislators will have to recommit placeholder budget bills so that the complete conference reports can be filed. The deadline for final adoption of conference reports on budget bills is Monday. The House and Senate are scheduled to convene tomorrow at 2:00 and 3:00 p.m., respectively, and Capitol operators will be on hand to take your calls.

Ask your legislators to stand up for Mississippi children - NO tax cuts until schools are fully funded.

Find email addresses, social media contacts, and other ways to reach all legislators in your school district.

Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770
(Capitol operators will be available to take your calls on Sunday afternoon.)

Share the same message with:
Lt. Governor Reeves Capitol: 601.359.3200
Speaker Gunn Capitol: 601.359.3300

The deadline to file the conference report on HB 458, which could be used to make changes to the MAEP formula, is Monday.

We will keep you posted. In the meantime, please contact your legislators and ask them to choose children over corporate tax breaks. The choice really is that simple.