Governor Barbour takes on the House over 2012 budget

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Governor Haley Barbour says lawmakers missed their deadline to file their budget compromise bill over the weekend and now members of the House still aren't happy, even though his new budget proposal is what he calls "a real compromise."

The Governor told WLOX News that he refuses to let an unrealistic budget slide through and cause big headaches in the near future and big tax hikes for every Mississippian.

He said he just can't seem to convince the House that you can't spend what you don't have. And he wants taxpayers to understand what's really going on in Jackson during these tough budget negotiations.

"The public's got plenty of sense, if they're given the right information. And right now the House wants to spend a lot more money than I think we ought to on the budget," Barbour said.

The governor said senators are starting to see things his way and seem to like his compromise on the latest budget for 2012, which is nearly $5.5 billion.

"I have, in the spirit of compromise, increased my original budget by $47 million. I am today $30 million over what the Legislative Budget Committee recommended in December."

But he said that's still not enough for the House, which wants to spend $100 million more than the legislature even called for just three months ago.

"So we need to get those numbers down, both to spend less, but also to have more reserves to carry forward for fiscal year 2013."

If not, he warned, it would men tax hikes for hard working Mississippians who he thinks want to see the state run properly.

"If you ran your business the way the House is talking about running the state's business, you could write a book about it. It would start with Chapter 11."

The governor's plan is drawing criticism from House Democrats, who are particularly concerned about $3.5 million in proposed cuts to vocational education programs. House Education Chairman Cecil Brown said cutting that much in state funding will also cause the programs to lose millions in matching funds from the federal government.

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