State Officials Monitoring Budget Battle

The clock is ticking to avoid massive government spending cuts.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says a majority of Mississippians are not happy with how things are playing out in our nation's capitol right now. He says while lawmakers will always disagree, at some point an agreement just has to be reached.

"It's irresponsible for the President and the Congress not to be able to govern," Hosemann says. "That's what they got elected for and when you see this type of gridlock, where there's no common sense solution to this, there is virtually a dead heat."

Mississippi's front line of defense will also be at the front of the line for budget cuts when it comes to a possible sequester from the federal level. Adjutant General of Mississippi's National Guard, Augustus Collins, is paying close attention to these looming automatic spending cuts. While he hopes it'll be avoided, he says he's still concerned. Preliminary plans are being made should the cuts happen. If they do, the state's national guard force may have to periodically do without some of it's workforce.

"I'm more concerned about the civilians," Collins says. "The military, as you know, the military pay accounts are not going to be affected by sequestration, but it's our department of army civilians who work for us, we're more concerned with them, because if we have to take some cuts, it may happen with them."

As for proposed FAA cuts that could result in as many as seven air traffic control towers in Mississippi being shut down, including Key Field, Secretary of State Hosemann tells Newscenter 11 there are other things that could be cut instead. He says air service is critical in Meridian.

The deadline for Congress and the Obama administration to reach a deal is Friday. Negotiations are not expected to take place until after the deadline.


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