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Staff error could prove costly to state

It’s back to the financial drawing board in trying to iron out an already difficult state budget.

State leaders, who finalized the budget before adjourning last month, announced earlier this week that due to a “staff error” the Fiscal Year 2017 budget is off by more than $56 million in projected money collected by the state.

That’s quite a miscalculation.

Gov. Phil Bryant has already made two big cuts to the current budget that ends in June, causing many state directors to not fill open positions or cut public services.

And even though Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn have said no immediate action is necessary, you can bet state agencies are concerned and are preparing for more slashing to their budgets.

The “boo boo” comes also at a time when the legislature dolled out millions of dollars in tax breaks to businesses and corporations.

So while folks have been wrangling over controversial new laws exercising the “freedom of religion,” this makes us wonder what exactly our state elected officials have been doing in Jackson to fix major financial issues and ensure the basic needs of the public are met.

The next time you see your elected official or want to send an email, ask him or her what has been done in Jackson and voice what you need going forward.