Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves welcomed members of the Mississippi highway patrol to the state Capitol today as part of the agency’s “Blue Out” day.
“The State Trooper Association and I share a common goal to get more troopers on the road,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “I look forward to working toward that goal as the House and Senate begin budget discussions in the coming weeks.”
Last week, the Senate took the first step in the budget process by funding agency budgets, including the Department of Public Safety, at levels recommended by the House and Senate Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Specific requests for new programs from state agencies will be considered if state revenue expectations grow for the next fiscal year. Budget negotiations begin in mid-March after the state’s revenue estimating committee meets to consider next year’s fiscal outlook.
“There are raise requests from sheriffs, tax collectors, county supervisors and teachers plus a trooper school, and other worthy projects from agencies,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “We have a lot more good ideas than we have money. You will see Senate and House leadership sit down in a few weeks to look at what taxpayers can afford and what best meets the needs of the state.”
Since Lt. Gov. Reeves took office the highway patrol has received an additional $4.6 million while most state agencies saw budget cuts. Over the past two years, the Legislature has:
- Allocated $461,442 for trooper pay raises in the current budget year.
- Supported a special fund dedicated to purchasing equipment, like bulletproof vests for troopers, and the highway patrol retirement fund. House Bill 1015 directed $25 of the driver’s license reinstatement fee to an equipment fund and another $25 into the highway patrol’s retirement system, which is separate from the state Public Employees’ Retirement System.
- Funded the Mississippi Highway Patrol at record levels in the current budget year with a $2.7 million increase in the agency’s $50 million general fund appropriation.