Governor Bryant sets agenda for special called session, local lawmakers speak
PINE BELT, MS. - Governor Phil Bryant announced the special session's agenda after two budgets were left unfinished during the regular session back in March.
According to State Senator Fillingane this is Governor Bryant's 7th time in six years calling a special session.
The House and Senate did not finalize on budgets for the Department of Transportation and Attorney General's Office.
State Representative Noah Sanford and Senator Fillingane hopes both chambers will find a quick solution.
“The House has been interested in trying to find money for infrastructure, but at this point it doesn’t look like we will compromise with the Senate to be able to get that done" said Representative Sanford.
He added, "If that is the case we do not need to linger up there to pass those budgets and go on.”
Senator Fillingane said, “We already had an agreement with the House towards the end of the session, what the funding’s levels will be for MDOT, for the state aid road budget, as well as for the Attorney General Office."
Fillingane added, "And the whole thing blew up between the Speaker and the House Senate over a spat, whether to tax people.”
After supporting a state lottery bill to generate more funds for the state's budget, Governor Bryant will not ask lawmakers to consider one during this special called session.
“There is no doubt that a lottery will bring in money, the question is whether there will make a difference and bring enough money wherever it was allocated" said Representative Sanford.
Governor Bryant is asking lawmakers to examine undefined budget controls to address credit rating agencies' concerns about the state's finances.
Senator Fillingane said, “The credit agencies are looking at ways that the state can improve its credit risk."
"The Governor has some information that he wants to share with the Legislature, and possibly change some of the wording, of some the budget bills that will help increase the state’s ratings" Fillingane said.
He continued,"Making it a better bargain to purchase bonds that are issued by the state government.”
Governor Bryant anticipates lawmakers will finish their work as quickly as possible to minimize costs to taxpayers.
Legislators will meet in Jackson June 5.