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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi lawmakers are working on the state budget now at the capitol.
The 2017 budget will total $6,350,000,000 and go into effect July 1, 2016, but many agencies can expect cuts.
“Jeff called me to tell me he was desperately sick. He had asked them to take him to the doctor and they would not,” said Representative Steve Holland, a Democrat from District 16.
Rep. Holland highlighted the importance of proper funding Monday in the House of Representatives with the story of an inmate who died after family members say he didn’t receive insulin and got sick.
“So on April 1, 2016, they found him dead in his bed in Parchman,” said Rep. Holland.
Legislators in the house and senate are working to ratify spending and borrowing plans.
Funding for the state Department of Corrections was discussed at length in the house.
“It’s a reality in our prison system. The medical care is in shambles. It is unattended. There are people dying. I know them by face. I bury them because I’m an undertaker. It’s not right. It’s a human rights issue,” said Rep. Holland.
Rep. Holland says MDOC will see cuts but not as much as some agencies.
Many departments will experience budget shortfalls of two to twelve percent.
“I think it’s important that we legislators know what’s going on in the state of Mississippi. I think it is important that we look to the future. We have an obligation to our citizens. We take an oath of office to form and make good policy,” said Rep. Bryant Clark, a Democrat with District 47.
Lawmakers plan to give enough money to keep Mississippi’s school funding at formula level.
The cuts to state agencies come as legislators negotiate over how much the state plans to borrow in bonds in 2017 and whether it’s going to change tax policies.
WJTV’s Beth Alexander reached out to Republican lawmakers but was unable to talk to them before this article was published.
This is a developing story.
Please stay with WJTV as more information becomes available.