FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2008
GOVERNOR BARBOUR SIGNS BILL TO FILL STATE’S RAINY DAY FUND
(JACKSON, Mississippi) - Governor Haley Barbour today signed legislation that fully fills - without raising taxes - Mississippi’s “Rainy Day Fund,” the special state savings account designed to protect taxpayers and governmental functions in case of an economic downturn.
Under Senate Bill 2912, the Budget Reconciliation Act of 2008, the Rainy Day Fund will contain $378 million as of June 30, 2008, as compared to less than $25 million when Governor Barbour first took office in 2004.
“In four budget cycles and working together with the Legislature, Mississippi has a balanced budget and has rebuilt its Rainy Day Fund for the amount called for by law,” Governor Barbour said. “This was accomplished by controlling spending and increased revenue through economic growth.”
In 2004, when Governor Barbour’s Administration began, he inherited a $720 million budget hole and the state’s Rainy Day Fund reserves had dropped 90%, to less than $25 million. Unwavering on his pledge to not raise taxes, Governor Barbour focused on generating General Fund revenue growth and asked state agencies to cut wasteful spending. In fact, the newly adopted FY ’09 budget reflects an appropriations increase of less than 1% compared to FY ‘08.
“I am committed to fiscal discipline and will work to make sure this trend continues throughout my second term,” Governor Barbour said.
Today’s bill signing took place on the campus of Jackson State University and was held in conjunction with the second meeting of the Governor’s Tax Study Commission, which was formed to study Mississippi’s overall tax structure and recommend an updated, comprehensive tax policy.