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State of Mississippi’s economy announced by Treasurer

JACKSON- State Treasurer Lynn Fitch has released the annual economic briefing in collaboration with the State Economist’s office for the State Legislature. 

The following was presented by Deputy Treasurer Jesse Graham:

State Debt:

  • State bond indebtedness continues a steady climb, reaching almost $4.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2016.
  • From Fiscal Year 2006 to Fiscal Year 2016, bond indebtedness grew $1.3 billion (41.8%).
  • Debt service is the third largest item in the State budget.
  • Legislature did not fully fund debt service for Fiscal Year 2017 – $7.6 million in deficit appropriations needed before April 1, 2017.
  • Legislative Budget Recommendation for Fiscal Year 2018 makes the same mistake – relies too heavily on special funds for debt service.
  • Legislature’s heavy reliance on special funds has bled those funds dry.  Don’t even have enough to cover short-term borrowing needs, which means taxpayers will pay more.
  • Mississippi is behind the national average and behind its peer states in our debt ratios.

o   Net Tax Supported Debt Per Capita: $1,707

o   Debt as Percent of Personal Income: 5.0%

o   Debt as a Percent of State GDP:  4.88%

o   Debt Service Ratio: 6.0%

  • New rules passed by the State Bond Commission are meant to help manage debt levels

MPACT Shortfall:

  • The Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (MPACT) Legacy program has a $126.4 million shortfall.
  • College Savings Board has requested emergency infusions from the Legislature the past three years – all have been ignored.
  • MPACT Legacy Program will be insolvent in 2025 under current assumptions.
  • MPACT bears the full faith and credit of the State.
  • An opportunity to help shrink the shortfall by updating the 20-year-old investment statutes was left to die in committee by the Legislature.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty:

  • Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the nation (22.6%).
  • 246,000 Mississippi children live in poverty (34%).
  • Mississippi ranks at or near bottom of all studies on financial habits.
  • In states that have made financial education a high school graduation requirement, credit scores for recent graduates increased.
  • An opportunity to make financial education a ½ credit course required for graduation was left to die in committee by the Legislature.
  • 23% of Mississippi women live in poverty.
  • Over 75% of Mississippi children living in poverty live in a household headed by a single mom.
  • Mississippi is one of only 2 states in the nation that does not protect equal pay for equal work.
  • Mississippi has a 27% pay gap, according to a December 2016 study by the State Economist’s office.
  • Today’s wage gap costs a woman $375,000 over a 40-year career.
  • Woman working 40-hour workweek earns $9,600 less than a man, on average.
  • An opportunity to close the pay gap was left to die in committee by the Legislature.

A full report is available HERE.

 

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