By Ashley Conroy
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - At the monthly Stennis-Capitol Press Luncheon, the usual colorful Senator Hob Bryan wasn't bashful in speaking out about Governor Haley Barbour managing the budget.
"I disagree with Governor Barbour's approach to the budget." He added, "In case anyone didn't get that I'll say that one more time. I disagree with Governor Barbour's approach to the budget," while those who attended laughed at his bluntness.
As Chairman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee, Bryan says that he has an agenda to get part of the near $500 million dollars cut from the budget, back.
"The Governor chose to make cuts when he had at his disposal cash that he could have used to avoid them."
Bryan adds that about $750 million dollars is stored away in reserves. In particular, he would like to see $80 million go back to education.
"There has never been a year that is going to be as desperate for the public schools as next school year is going to be."
One of the luncheon attendees, Nancy Loome from the Parents Campaign is concerned what these cuts could mean for schools next year.
"It puts schools in a very precarious position financially in that if they have some sort of emergency. They don't have cash on hand to cover those costs."
The governor was the guest speaker at the Stennis Luncheon just a few months ago, and since then he's cut more from the budget.
March marked the first month in 19 months that revenue wasn't below projections. During the Governor's last round of cuts, he said he anticipated this would be the last time he would cut from the 2010 budget, unless revenue dipped below projections once again.
In the meantime, the Legislature has halted session until April 20th where they plan to finalize the 2011 budget.
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