Why the Legislature Failed to Pass a Budget

For the first time in Mississippi history (as far as we know), the state legislature adjourned its regular session without approving a budget for the next fiscal year.

There are many reasons this occurred. Most people will say that it was because of political grandstanding.

Some will say the governor is grandstanding because he’s planning to run for President, and some will say the Senate is going along with the governor because of partisan politics. Others will say the House is grandstanding to impress the teacher unions and the media who say we need to spend more on the public education system.

There is some truth in all of those suppositions, but I also believe that many of the leaders sincerely believe they are taking the right position for the state. Some House leaders truly believe that arbitrarily pouring more money into the public school system is best for our state. Many in the Senate leadership and the governor sincerely believe that we should live within our means without raising taxes. Those are two fundamental beliefs that are very difficult to reconcile.

Rather than dwelling in suspicion, let’s pray for our leaders that they don’t just come to an agreement for the sake of an agreement. Let’s pray that they make the right decisions.

For the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, I’m Forest Thigpen.