A longtime advocate of accountable, performance-based budgeting, Gov. Phil Bryant today released Opportunity Mississippi¬, a statewide strategic plan that outlines the governor's goals for Mississippi and his administration's progress toward them.
A statewide strategic plan is a critical component of performance-based budgeting. A performance-based budget system would allocate money to Mississippi's government agencies and programs based on measurable performance against clearly defined goals.
"Since my time as state auditor, I have pushed for Mississippi to adopt a performance-based budget model that allocates tax dollars to agencies and programs based on results instead of politics, and this strategic plan is an important step toward implementing such a system," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "I am encouraged that the Legislature has expressed serious interest in moving toward a more accountable budget system, and I look forward to working closely with House and Senate leaders to develop a plan that is right for Mississippi taxpayers."
The governor's strategic plan outlines four central goals for Mississippi, which he outlined in his 2012 Inaugural Address. The goals include:
* building a future where every Mississippian has the opportunity to be gainfully employed right here at home;
* building a future where every Mississippian has the opportunity to learn from the best educational system we can offer;
* building a future where every Mississippian has the opportunity to be born into a mature, two-parent home; and
* building a future where every Mississippian has the opportunity to be sure his or her tax dollars are put to proper use.
Each goal includes specific policy objectives and accomplishments, as well as benchmarks the governor has implemented to measure progress against his four central goals. Benchmarks include:
* reducing unemployment to 7.5 percent by 2017;
* training 1,000 new doctors by 2025;
* documenting a 20 percent increase in literacy attainments for third grade students by 2017;
* increasing the number of National Board Certified teachers 25 percent by 2018 and enhancing their leadership roles in Mississippi schools;
* expanding the opportunity for merit pay to 70 percent of Mississippi school districts by 2018;
* reducing the high school dropout rate 10 percent by 2017;
* reducing the number of teen pregnancies, ages 8-19 by 15 percent by 2017;
* adopting and implementing performance-based budget standards; and
* filling the Rainy Day fund to its statutory limit.
"When I took office, I committed to help build a future where all Mississippians could rise together through increased economic prosperity, improved public education, strengthened families and improved government efficiency," Gov. Bryant said. "In just two years, we have already accomplished so much. From our state's economic gains and recognitions to the passage of transformational education reform, Mississippi is on the move. We still have work to do, but our hard work is producing results, and we are prepared to pursue our next opportunities."
Opportunity Mississippi is available for download at www.governorbryant.com.