State budget battle drags on

There is a high stake poker game going on in Mississippi between Governor Haley Barbour and House Speaker Billy Mccoy. There is a disagreement on how to balance the budget which must be adopted by July 1st.

It all centers on how much in taxes Mississippi hospitals must pay to cover Medicaid payments. Taxpayers fall right in the middle of this disagreement. Without a state budget on July 1st, will any of the services we depend on be cut or reduced.

The Governor says no. He says he will make sure all basic services like law enforcement and the health services are provided money to do the job. But Southern District Highway Commissioner Wayne Brown says all work on state road contracts will stop on that day unless there is a budget in place.

At risk are several road projects here in South Mississippi. School systems are in limbo about how much money they will receive next year. This because officials are not sure how many teachers they will be to hire. Right now there is an impasse between the Governor and the Speaker.

We urge both of these gentlemen to examine their positions and take any political grandstanding out of the debate. We urge all parties to compromise and come up with a balanced budget. If not the Mississippi taxpayers will be dealt the losing hand in this high stakes poker game.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com, or post your comments below.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV Station Manager

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