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Mississippi state budget increased by $1.5 billion since 2020

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

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  • Between 2015-2020, the state budget increased 4.5 percent. Between 2020-2025, it increased another 24 percent. Among the biggest winners, schools and roads.

For the 2025 fiscal year that begins July 1st, the Mississippi Legislature budgeted total state support of $7.866 billion, a jump of over $1.5 billion, or 24 percent, from the 2020 budget of $6.351 billion.

Portions of the large increase in spending are a reflection of labor and material inflation in recent years, which has both driven up tax revenue collected and the cost of government operations.

Still, much of the spending growth is a reflection of new recurring programs and commitments.

One of the most talked about spending increases from the 2024 session was in K-12 education. For fiscal year 2025, the Legislature plans to dole out $3.312 billion, a sizable increase from the 2024 budget, which came in just over $3 billion. In 2020, the Legislature budgeted $2.570 billion for K-12 education. In that same period, student enrollment in K-12 public schools has declined by nearly 30,000 students.

This year’s nearly $250 million increase in education funding is part of the adoption of a new funding formula, the “Mississippi Student Funding Formula.”

Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, the state department that oversees the Magnolia State’s public universities, will see a slight decrease. For FY 2025, IHL was budgeted $874 million, which is a decrease from 2024’s budget of $878 million. Back in 2020, the agency was budgeted $709 million.

Funding budgeted to the state’s Department of Corrections climbed somewhat for the next fiscal year. For the coming fiscal year, MDOC will receive $431 million. Compared to the 2024 budget of $405 million, the department will see an appropriation increase of more than $25 million. When compared to the budget for 2020 of $318 million, this coming year’s allotment is an increase of more than $120 million. 

The state’s Department of Mental Health has been budgeted $276 million for the coming fiscal year. It’s an increase of about $20 million when compared to last year’s $255 million. Back in 2020, that agency’s state budget was just over $232 million.

Mississippi’s Department of Human Services will also see an increase for the next fiscal year, moving from 2024’s budget of $76 million to $83 million for fiscal year 2025. In 2020, the state budgeted nearly $70 million for that agency.

State appropriations have also increased for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. In 2020, the department was budgeted $102 million. This session, DPS has been budgeted to receive $177 million. While that is a nearly $75 million increase within five years, it’s also an increase from last fiscal year’s budget of $164 million.

Two large ticket items that fall mostly outside of the state’s formal budget are the Division of Medicaid and the Mississippi Department of Transportation. State support of Medicaid for FY 2025 came in at $911 million, but the total cost of the program, including federal funding, now exceeds $8 billion annually — making it the largest single ticket total expenditure in the state.

Funding to the Mississippi Department of Transportation for 2025 will total over $2.2 billion. MDOT was budgeted $1.438 billion, including $787 million in federal funds. Additionally, the Department received an $817 million supplemental appropriation, which included the reappropriation of roughly $370 million in unspent funds from last year, as well as $250 million to support large scale capacity projects. These projects include work on I-55 and Highway 7 in North Mississippi. In 2020, the Department was budgeted $1.1 billion.

The amounts reflected do not include special funds or ARPA funding and come from each fiscal year’s final action budget top sheet, except for the Division of Medicaid and MDOT budgets.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Read original article by clicking here.

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