Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Wednesday made his second round of state spending cuts since the current budget year started July 1, with revenue continuing to fall short of expectations in a sluggish economy.
“We knew it was going to be tough all along,” Bryant told reporters at the Capitol as legislators were trying to wrap up their session.
The shortfall is $35 million in what started as a fiscal 2016 spending plan that topped $6 billion. Bryant said he is cutting $25 million and covering the rest of the gap by taking $10 million out of the rainy day fund so it can be spent.
The cuts amount to less than one-half of 1 percent of spending for the year that ends June 30, and Bryant said only a few programs are exempt. Veterans’ affairs, the state Military Department, student loans, vocational and technical education and schools for the blind and deaf won’t be cut.
Bryant made 1.5 percent budget cuts in January, trimming $39.8 million in spending and taking $35.2 million from the rainy day fund.
K-12 education was exempt from the first round of cuts, but will lose money in the latest reductions, he said.