Legislators leave with no budget for Department of Marine Resources

Mississippi legislators left the capitol today without setting a budget for the state department of marine resources.

The agency will continue to operate by using federal money as it has since July 1st. House and Senate negotiations stalled over questions of who has the authority to spend millions of dollars from oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

In the past, the governor has controlled the money, but Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn says legislators have the power to set budgets. Senator Brice Wiggins explained the DMR issue on Facebook live. “Senate tried, House has chosen not to go along with that. I’m sorry with the conference report that was submitted. And as it stands DMR has no budget. Now where does that leave things, well you know, back where, same place where we were when we got here. If anything is to be addressed that means that the governor can call a special session, put DMR in the call, and he gets to direct how the DMR bill will get done. ”

Legislators met Monday and resolved the education budget. They left today and it’s not clear when they will return to finish the marine resource’s budget.

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