Grim Economic Picture Awaits 2010 Legislature

Almost a half billion dollars in overall budget cuts is what Mississippi is now facing.

Gov. Haley Barbour recently announced that he wants to cut another $160 million from the state's budget.

Already this budget year, $220 million has been cut.

Due to declining revenues statewide, lawmakers say additional cuts are inevitable.

"We are facing some gut-wrenching decisions in the state of Mississippi, unlike probably any member of the legislature has had before," said Sen. Giles Ward of District 18, Neshoba, Leake and Winston counties. "It's not going to be fun, but we're going to have to step up and face it.'

"We talk about cuts, cuts; we need to look at how we can also generate revenue," said Rep. Wilbert Jones of District 82, Lauderdale County. "I'm not talking about through taxes. There are some other revenue streams out there that many other states are utilizing. We need to revisit some of those revenue streams."

If the governor's proposal is approved, Mississippi will have cut $380 million from its budget for this year and next year.

The legislature will decide exactly how much will be cut when the new session starts in January.

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