Budget Cuts Could Close Newton Facility

Mississippi's largest agency is the Department of Mental Health. Some within the agency say it could face the biggest losses if more cuts are made.

Local mental health administrators discussed their plight with lawmakers Tuesday at East Mississippi State Hospital's annual legislative luncheon.

Debbie Ferguson, director of Central Mississippi Residential Center in Newton said the agency is one of ten that the governor is recommending for closure.

"All those clients will either have to go home, they will go to the streets, or go to jail," Ferguson said. "There aren't enough services out there for everyone."

Ferguson said she expects to find out the fate of CMRC during the next legislative session, which starts in January.

The budget for East Mississippi State Hospital has so far been cut by ten percent.

Officials say even more cuts will mean the closure of the facility's unit for chemical dependency.

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