Democrats and Republicans battle on last day of special session

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The special session is now over and Governor Bryant can pull money from the Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget.

It’s no secret the Republicans hold the majority in the Senate and the House but the Democrats did not keep quiet in this special session

Representatives Herb Frierson and Omeria Scott exchanged a few words about Senate Bill 2001 on the second day of the special session called by Governor Phil Bryant about Mississippi’s budget.

“The senate bill that was presented to the House gave the governor a blank check,” said Rep. Scott.

After a multitude of amendments were brought forward trying to give money to various agencies like MEMA and mental health institutions, those amendments failed and the house finally voted to allow Governor Bryant to dip into the Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget.

The bill passed 72 to 36.

“He can only take the amount to cover the shortage. If the shortage is $60,000,000, he’ll take 60. If it’s 80 he can take 80 ,if it’s 20 he can take 20. But, he cannot exceed the amount that the state is short,” said Rep. Frierson.

House Appropriations Chairman Herb Frierson says on Tuesday, the state is currently in a $60,000,000 shortfall.

We’re two days away from fiscal year 2017.

“We’re going to have serious structural problems as we try to go in and budget next year. The people said they wanted smaller government. Well, they’re about to see what smaller government looks like. This is just the beginning,” said Rep. Scott.

In total, the special session will cost taxpayers $75,000.

 

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