Another hit for state’s budget

Published 10:57 am Friday, January 13, 2017

The state’s budget picture got a bit gloomier Thursday, with Gov. Phil Bryant ordering another round of budget cuts because revenues are lagging.

Bryant announced $51 million in cuts Thursday, after cutting $57 million in September. Funding for most programs will be cut just under 1.5 percent, according to The Associated Press. For the year, cuts have totaled more than 3 percent.

Is there room for cuts in the state’s budget? It depends on who you ask. If cuts were being made to eliminate waste, most people would likely support them. But this cut is being made because there’s less money coming in than state leaders anticipated and budgeted for.

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These cuts come as agencies are seeking more money to make up for deficits.

Lawmakers have made some questionable decisions regarding the state’s budget, namely handing out tax cuts while revenues are lagging.

Let’s hope legislators keep this latest cut in mind as they craft next year’s budget.

Boil-water alert confusion

Brookhaven was placed under a boil-water notice by the Department of Health Thursday. The alert specified that 12,513 customers were affected, which is everyone who gets their water from the city.

But Kris Xifos,  the superintendent for the Brookhaven Water Department, said the number affected is much smaller. According to Xifos, only about 30 blocks were affected.

“It’s not all over town,” he said.

That created some confusion for the city. The newspaper fielded several phone calls from residents, businesses and restaurants about the alert. We could only provide them with the information we had, which was that the Dept. of Health placed the entire city under the alert.

We left it up to them to decide if they should boil their water if they were outside of the area the city said was affected. We’re guessing most people erred on the side of safety and boiled it.

We’re hoping the Department of Health and the city can get on the same page when it comes to boil-water notices in the future. There’s no reason to have confusion when it comes to drinking water safety.