Barbour Makes Budget Cuts

By: Ashley Conroy
By: Ashley Conroy

Gov. Haley Barbour announced Friday another across-the-board reduction of 3.19 percent to all state agencies, or $221 million. This is in addition to the 5 percent cuts he made in the fall of 2009.

As of now, agencies are looking at a total of 8.19 percent in cuts for this fiscal year. The governor cited revenue shortfalls.

"Last year we ended up spending $20 million more in the fiscal year than we had expected as late as June," said Barbour. "So, with 5 and a half months to go, I can't tell the public that there won't be more cuts. But we are trying to be prudent and make the cuts that are going to be necessary. "

Barbour has continued to ask the legislature for the flexibility in any additional cuts needed,after this next round of reductions.

By statute, the governor said he is prohibited from cutting any agency by more than 5 percent until spending for all agencies has been cut 5 percent.
After reaching the 5 percent threshold, the Governor may make additional cuts, but only if the same percentage of cuts is applied to each part of the budget.

Democratic leaders in the House said the Republican governor should have dipped into financial reserves to mitigate the cuts. Among those criticizing Barbour are House budget writers, Johnny Stringer and Cecil Brown, both Democrats.

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  • by Anonymous on Jan 26, 2010 at 01:18 PM
    Simple question, what happens when the 2012 budget comes up and the rainy day fund is not around to help. There is only 212 million in this fund, that is less than 4% of the state budget this year and we are looking at losing over 300 million per year in stimulus money that will need to be replaced from some source within the next two budgets. Yes, these measures are drastic but then some of us have had to make drastic changes in our own lives because of the economy. By the way, projections are that state revenues will continue to DECLINE for at least the next two years. Also, remember that the law says that all budgets must be cut by 5% before any can be cut more & the legislature would not give him the authority to do the cuts differently by raising that to 10%. I'm not happy but I see no other course of action.
  • by Fed up with abuse Location: Mississippi on Jan 25, 2010 at 06:02 AM
    How about we CUT the spending by our local government? Lets make the Legislators and Congressmen work for their pay. Make them pay for health care like the rest of us, not have their children on CHIPS. How about making them live on a state employee's salary like the rest of us who work for the state? Cut out the expense accounts, the hotel rooms and make them pay for their own way.
  • by Matt Location: Morton on Jan 25, 2010 at 05:14 AM
    Barbour doesn't care about the working man in Mississippi, he has made his money elsewhere and is doing whatever he pleases thinking that it's "in our best interest". When he took the trip to visit the troops you know he didn't dig in his own pocket for the funds. I am a former service man and I can tell you we never liked politicians showing up. We have to run and clean to make everything look fake and nice just to stroke their ego's. If Barbour wants to show support send a card. If he really wants to cut the budgets fairly then he should cut his and other legislators salaries as well.
  • by Guy South of I-20 on Jan 24, 2010 at 08:04 PM
    Barbour has committed political suicide by not using part of the rainy day fund to help with the budget crisis, a purpose for which the fund exists. There's being financially conservative and responsible but he's being just plain reckless. By cutting services such as public safety, health and education instead of using reserves to help prop these departments up, he's placing our state in jeopardy. Talk of a run for POTUS? If I have anything to do with it, Barbour won't even be elected dog catcher in Chunky.
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