Monday, March 22, 2010
House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, will lead a rally in support of education funding tomorrow in the rotunda of the state Capitol at 11 a.m. The rally comes in the wake of further budget cuts to K-12 education by Gov. Haley Barbour and in anticipation of budget negotiations between the House and Senate.
Nine Senate Republicans broke party ranks last week to join Democrats in approving a 2011 appropriations bill that would give $30 million more to K-12 education than supported by Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and Appropriations Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo. House and Senate negotiators will likely begin negotiations on a compromise bill this week.
Barbour slashed all state agency budgets by an additional 1 percent March 17 in response to a revised revenue estimate for the fiscal year. The governor has said that legislators devising the state's budget for 2011 should set aside 2 percent of expected revenues, roughly $89 million, in case revenues fall short of expectatons, as they have this year.
That demand has drawn the ire of some House Democrats, including Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, who released a statement today calling on Barbour to issue a revised 2011 budget recommendation without the 2 percent set-aside.
"The 2 percent Governor Haley wants to hold back belongs to the tax payers of Mississippi," Flaggs said in a statement. "2 percent of the tax payers money is collected but not appropriated for budget. That money is just sitting in the bank doing nothing, while Mississippians are being laid off and unable to feed their families."
Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, and Nancy Loome of the Mississippi Parents Campaign are also expected to appear at tomorrow's rally.