Agencies prepare for wave of cuts – Government aims to “really streamline,” state auditor says

Mississippians could see even longer lines when they get driver’s licenses renewed.

The state auditor’s office is putting off technology upgrades.

And state government jobs will continue to go unfilled.

Leaders of state agencies are prioritizing services that must be saved as they prepare for impending budget cuts. With state revenues still falling, Gov. Haley Barbour has said cuts are inevitable in the coming weeks.

“The good thing is this is forcing state agencies to rethink and reevaluate how we do our jobs,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said. “You’re going to see state government really streamline its offerings.”

Barbour issued a letter to all state agencies last week, asking each to submit detailed analyses of their operations by today.

Revenues were down 12 percent – about $128 million – for the first quarter of this fiscal year compared to last year. They are about 8 percent below the state’s initial expectations for this year.