Barbour set to make budget announcement Thursday

JACKSON, MS (AP) - Gov. Haley Barbour will announce Thursday whether he's ready to order cuts in Mississippi's $6 billion budget. Barbour said last week that he would tell state agencies to reduce their spending if tax collections continue to look sluggish.

Numbers released by the State Tax Commission this week showed tax collections fell 2 percent short of expectations in August. Combined with a shortfall in July, state collections are now 5.9 percent behind where experts had anticipated for the first two months of the fiscal year.

Barbour is holding a news conference Thursday in Jackson to discuss the budget. He said last week that education could be among the first services to lose money if cuts are needed.

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