Gov. Barbour trims another $40.6M from FY 2010 budget - - The News for South Mississippi

Gov. Barbour trims another $40.6M from FY 2010 budget


JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Governor Haley Barbour has ordered another $40.6 million in budget cuts for the current fiscal year after the state revenue estimating committee lowered its projection for Fiscal Year 2010. This reduction brings the total amount of cuts this year to $499.1 million.

Wednesday's budget cuts mean nearly every state government account, except those exempt by statute, have been cut by almost 9.5 percent.

Among those cut were the budgets for the Governor's Mansion and Governor's Office. But a news release from Barbour pointed out "the Legislature's budget has not been reduced, as it has exempted itself from being subjected to budget cuts."

"I must reiterate that this deficit, coupled with continued lower revenues, means we must take a serious look at how Mississippi government is structured," Governor Barbour said. "Real changes will be necessary if we are to continue providing essential services to our citizens while prudently spending our reserve funds and achieving a balanced budget."

Governor Barbour asked lawmakers to give agency heads the authority to be flexible with the additional cuts. The Senate quickly agreed, but the House did not.

"The budget crisis Mississippi faces is real. With a shortfall of $500 million for the year, agency directors must have the ability to manage their spending and workforce needs with the reality of our financial situation," Governor Barbour said.

By statute, the Governor is prohibited from cutting any agency by more than five percent until spending for all non-exempt agencies has been cut five percent. After reaching the five percent threshold, the Governor may make additional cuts, but those reductions must be equal across all agencies.

The Governor must trim spending as mandated by Mississippi Code §27-104-13, which requires the State Fiscal Officer to balance the budget when state revenue falls below estimates for the fiscal year.

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