By Ashley Conroy - email
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Governor Haley Barbour announced Wednesday that he has ordered an additional 40.6 million dollars cut from the 2010 budget.
He made this announcement after the Joint Legislative Budget Committee met earlier in the day to get the latest revenue projections for fiscal year 2010.
This committee was made up of senate Republicans and house Democrats.
The Mississippi State Senate has contended with the 98 percent rule. This rule states that 98 percent of budget projections will be appropriated, while two percent will be reserved, or put into the state's rainy day fund.
House Democrats said that state agencies could not afford to keep getting cut, while two percent of funds appropriated sit in reserves.
"On our side, we're going to spend the two percent set aside. I don't know how we can balance without spending that. It's not reckless. I mean the money is there, and I think we ought to spend it," said House Appropriations Chairman Johnny Stringer.
The governor said he will veto any legislation that reaches his desk where this rule is challenged.
"Having watched revenue be 400 million dollars short last year, and 500 million dollars short this year. It is clear to me that we should abide by the 98 percent rule," said Governor Barbour.
Stringer said abiding by this rule will only increase taxes for the working man at home. "He can stand up here and say he's not raising your taxes. But, he's raising taxes for the family back home with two children who's trying to make ends meet."
The Revenue Estimating Committee predicted this total shortfall to be 499.1 million dollars. These latest cuts total 9.5 percent reduced from the state budget for fiscal year 2010.
The governor said he thinks this will be the last round of cuts for fiscal year 2010, unless more revenue projections are below what is expected.
In the meantime, fiscal year 2011 begins July 1st.
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