Governor’s request for 15 percent drop prompts objections

Agency heads told Gov. Haley Barbour that they would have to eliminate jobs, cut programming, close parks and museums and stop inspecting meat plants if the state’s financial pinch results in a 15 percent cut next year.

It was an exercise Barbour requested of departments as he prepares to release his executive budget recommendation Monday.

Some agency heads suggested raising fees for services. Some said they simply didn’t have any more areas that could be cut. Some even bordered on begging.

“Please help us. Please make sure that we are fully funded for FY (fiscal year) ’12. We cannot stand any further cuts,” wrote John Toney, executive director of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, the state’s judicial watchdog.

He added: “I do not envy your position and you will remain in my prayers.”

Clarion Ledger