Budget Cuts – Governor’s Authority

Mississippi law requires that the State of Mississippi operate within a balanced budget, and it expressly prohibits the state from running a budget deficit. State statute further requires that, when revenue comes in 2% or more below projections, the governor take actions to bring the budget into balance. This law provides the governor, as the State Fiscal Officer, the authority to cut state agencies’ budgets, at his or her discretion, up to 5%. However, once an agency is cut 5%, the governor must cut all other agencies by 5% before cutting any agency more that 5%. Once the 5% threshold is met, the governor may make additional cuts up to 10%, but statute requires that all cuts beyond 5% be uniform, or the same percent, for every state agency. The governor is also provided authority to use up to $50-million of the Working Cash Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) to mitigate the budget shortfall.

State statute defining the governor’s authority to cut state agency budgets: § 27-104-13

State statute that provides that Working Cash Stabilization Fund may be used to avoid a deficit budget: § 27-103-203

Click here to see the Mississippi Code (state statute)