House, Senate already close on budget numbers

JACKSON — The House and Senate are currently working on parallel paths to develop budget proposals for funding Mississippi state government. In late April, House and Senate leaders will meet in conference committee to try to hammer out the differences the two chambers have on their budget proposals.

That should not be that divisive a process this year. With Republicans in control of both chambers, it should not be that much of a surprise to see the two sides are not that far apart and the budgeting process is just beginning.

And with the rules change, that says a rank and file member can only offer an amendment to the full chamber to increase funding for an agency by taking money from another agency, it will be hard for anyone except for a few members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees to have a significant impact on the process.

The rules change members voted in at the behest of Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves essentially took away any power they as rank-and-file legislators had in the process.