Barbour Says Budget Agreement Not Legal

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Gov. Haley Barbour says he has executive authority to keep "critical" agencies operating, if there's no state budget when the new fiscal year begins next week.

In a video news conference Tuesday with Mississippi reporters, Barbour said the legislature hasn't really completed the budget. He says there are two outstanding issues.

He said one is the fiscal year that ends next week is not balanced, because there is a Medicaid deficit, and two, there is no lawful agreement for Medicaid moving forward.

"I've agreed to accept $60 million even though the hospitals themselves last year were saying their fair share is $90 million. they actually wrote a bill Senate bill 2013 that passed the Senate overwhelmingly written by the hospital association that said they should pay $90 million as their fair share," Barbour said. "So I've compromised against what they said the number was last year. but you can't compromise on putting the taxpayers in a position where they could be hit with a huge tax increase because Medicaid ran some great big deficit."

Barbour said the Mississippi Constitution requires a balanced budget and places that responsibility on the governor.

House Speaker Billy McCoy contends the House and Senate have presented a balanced budget, based on projected revenue, and set aside additional money at the governor's request.

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  • by Lolly Location: Meridian on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:51 AM
    The Mississippi news media ought get the hospital's point of view and not let Barbour just ramble on unquestioned. He is not interested in working with the hospitals, at all. What will be his excuse when they close because of lack of funding?
  • by Teresa Location: Meridian on Jun 24, 2009 at 09:16 AM
    Medicaid should be used for the disabled and only the disabled.
  • by Medicaid Budget Issue Location: Meridian on Jun 24, 2009 at 06:35 AM
    Medicaid is a waste of taxpayers' money & not sure why the hospitals should be responsible for funding it since Medicaid barely reimburses anything anyway. Doesn't make sense to me! As it is now, those on Medicaid might as well be one of the millions of uninsured. The whole program needs to be revised- including review of the qualitifications for it.
  • by gay Location: MS on Jun 23, 2009 at 06:01 PM
    What will happen if the budget is not approved by next week? How long can the state go with out an approved budget?
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