More cuts likely as Barbour promises to "uphold the law" - - The News for South Mississippi

More cuts likely as Barbour promises to "uphold the law"

JACKSON, MS (WLOX/AP) - Governor Haley Barbour is promising to uphold the state law that requires a balanced budget. And with another month of lower than expected tax revenue collections, that means more budget cuts are likely on the way.

The State Tax Commission reported Friday that preliminary reports show February's collections coming in at 12.39 percent, or $33 million, below estimates.

"This month will be one of the worst – if not the worst – month for tax collections in this fiscal year," Barbour said in a statement released Friday. "Clearly, our state's economy is still feeling the effects of this deep global recession. It is also the 18th consecutive month revenue has fallen short of expectations, and the 15th consecutive month where less money was collected than the previous year."

At the state Capitol Friday, negotiators met briefly, but didn't agree on a plan to plug holes in the state budget. House members say senators are demanding too much money for the Department of Corrections, while senators say the House would give too little to prisons.

"With four months remaining in the fiscal year, it is likely state spending will have to be reduced beyond the $458 million in cuts already made. State law requires a balanced budget, and I will uphold the law," Barbour said.

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