Gov. Haley Barbour Tuesday signed legislation that fully fills Mississippi’s rainy-day fund for the first time in nearly a decade.
The working cash stabilization fund, as the rainy-day fund is officially known, will contain $378 million at the end of the current fiscal year on June 30. The amount was prescribed in SB 2912, the Budget Reconciliation Act of 2008.
When Barbour took office in 2004, the fund contained less than $25 million and the then-structurally imbalanced state budget was running a $720 million deficit.
“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,” Barbour said in a statement. “This was accomplished by controlling spending and increased revenue through economic growth.”
SB 2912 passed during the legislative session, which ended April 18 — 22 days early. While lawmakers shortened the four-month session to save money in a tight budget year, they failed to agree on how to fund a more than $90 million deficit anticipated in the Medicaid program.
Barbour has said that he will call the Legislature into special session before July 1 to deal with Medicaid funding.