Barbour Details ‘Streamline' Budget | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Barbour Details ‘Streamline' Budget

[verbatim statement] (Jackson, Miss.)-- Governor Haley Barbour was joined today by Lieutenant Governor Amy Tuck and scores of legislators as he filed the bill that represents his budget-fixing plan, "Operation: Streamline." "Operation: Streamline recognizes that we cannot move forward as a state until we confront our budget problem," Governor Barbour stated. "Workforce development, job creation, education and economic development all depend on keeping Mississippi's budget deficit under control. "Operation: Streamline" has a simple goal and that is to cut Mississippi's budget deficit * all $709 million of it * in half in one year, and eliminate it altogether in two years. It took many years to get in this budget hole and we will not get out overnight."

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Operation: Streamline takes a multi-pronged approach to modernizing state government. It places executive agencies under the direct purview of the Governor, centralizes a new office of administrative services, merges the Bureau of Narcotics into the Department of Public Safety, and brings significant cost savings to Institutions of Higher Learning and Community Colleges. Additionally, Operation: Streamline redirects money for mental health away from administrative duplication and towards the actual delivery of much needed mental health services. Operation: Streamline also moves the interest of a government savings account (MDOT Fund 3941) from a special fund to the general fund.

Governor Barbour said, "Most executive budgets submitted by governors are ignored during the legislative process. In a spirit of cooperation, many in this legislature have reached out to accept or at least consider much of my "Operation: Streamline" proposals, and I am thankful for that. This just proves that, working together, we really can solve Mississippi's problems."

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SPEECH OUTLINE

Operation: Streamline

February 17, 2004
New Capitol

· Operation: Streamline has a simple goal and that is to cut Mississippi budget deficit * all $709 million of it -- in half in one year and eliminate it altogether in two years. It took many years to get in this budget hole and my goal is to climb out of it in two years.

· Most executive budgets submitted by Governors are ignored during the legislative process. In a spirit of cooperation, many in this Legislature have reached out to and accept or at least consider many of my Operation: Streamline proposals, and I am thankful for that. This just proves that, working together, we really can solve Mississippi's problems.

· I am very proud to be joined today by Lt. Governor Tuck, our Senate Sponsor Senator Travis Little, our principal House Sponsor Representative Jim Simpson and scores of senators and representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, who support Operation: Streamline. Today, we file the bill that will begin the process of eliminating Mississippi's deficit.

· Operation: Streamline puts the responsibility squarely on the Governor to find efficiencies in state government. My proposals would save $238 million, much of which is incorporated in this legislation. Other savings do not require legislation.

· Operation: Streamline allows us not only to save money, but to have money available to fund our priorities. This plan would allow us to:

-- maintain IHL funding by restoring $100 million to our colleges and universities;

-- provide additional funding for MDA, MBN and Homestead Exemption;

-- provide additional money for a reformed Medicaid program, but save $130 million compared to projected spending;

-- allows us to work toward finding additional funding for the Adequate Education Program;

-- and best of all, it allows us to keep our commitment not to raise taxes on already overtaxed Mississippians.

· Everyone likes to be for adding funding, but the time has come when state government needs to start doing what Mississippi families do and what Mississippi businesses do. Mississippians live within their means. That's what we hope to do with Operation: Streamline.

· Today we have given out these small calculators to members of the Legislature to symbolize our commitment to working with them to roll up our sleeves, crunch the numbers, and get Mississippi's budget back under control.

· Operation: Streamline is not about arbitrarily cutting government * it is about "smart-sizing" state government. Businesses across the country have adopted new technologies to control their costs by streamlining their operations. It is past time we did the same in state government. With stronger leadership and better management we will.

SUMMARY OF LEGISLATION

Summary of Legislation in Operation: Streamline

(1) REMOVE EXECUTIVE AGENCIES FROM STATE PERSONNEL BOARD
- For one-year only (effective from date of passage)
- Opportunity to reorganize structure and find ways to reduce costs
- $25 Million targeted savings, approximately 6% reduction in salaries and wages

(2) CREATE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
- New office will be under DFA
- Executive director of DFA appoints director of office
- Purpose of office is to provide business-related (payroll, purchasing, etc.) services to small agencies that don't have adequate resources to do so.
- Will provide rental space within the Capitol Complex. This will reduce the amount of square footage needed, as we utilize "common space", such as conference rooms, that can be shared between the various agencies, boards, etc.
- Creates the Office of Administrative Services Fund in the State Treasury.
- New office assesses agencies, boards, etc. for services performed and for rent. Payments go into the new Fund. Legislature must appropriate funds from the Fund for the office to operate.
- Bill list numerous small agencies, boards, etc. that will be required to participate in the program. The Executive Director of DFA is given the authority to exempt an agency from participating, if cause exists. Other agencies, boards, etc. are provided the opportunity to participate in the program by applying to the Executive Director of DFA.
- Does not threaten autonomy of boards, commissions, etc
- $3 million in anticipated savings

(3) BUREAU OF NARCOTICS MERGED INTO DEPT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
- Effective July 1, 2004, assigns all powers, responsibility, etc. to Commissioner of Public Safety
- Clarifies that MBN is an "office," but still to be known as the MBN
- Commissioner can assign Hwy Patrol to MBN and MBN agents to Hwy Patrol, however either of these changes in assignment require meeting established requirements for duty (Hwy Patrol School, DEA School, DOJ)
- $1.2 Million in administrative savings to be redirected to law enforcement activities.

(4) IHL & CC COST SAVINGS

- Requires IHL Board and CC Board to do a joint study to find opportunities to cut costs (primarily through administrative measures)
- Language is clear that the Legislature intends each Board to redirect those funds saved from implementing the cost saving measures into instruction and research
- IHL and CC must provide a written report to Chairmen of House/Senate Appropriations Chairmen of House/Senate Universities & Colleges, and State Fiscal Officer not later than October 1, 2004
- Report will identify cost savings discovered, implemented, and redirected by the IHL Board and the CC Board
- $26 million in anticipated savings, all of which captured for use by the IHL and CC systems

(5) MENTAL HEALTH ADMINISTRATION CONSOLIDATION

- Eliminate duplication of up to 50% of administrative functions at stand alone institutions
- Estimated savings of $11 .1 Million annually
- Governor recommends $5 Million of the administrative savings be redirected toward the delivery of increased services

(6) MDOT FUND 3941 EARNINGS DIRECTED TO GENERAL FUND

- Fund receives fuel taxes diversion from general fund
- This legislation follows the principal that interest earnings belong to the taxpayer and not a particular agency.
- Estimated $5 million positive impact on the general fund

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