Oct. 24, 2011

RECENT LEGAL SETTLEMENT NOT A WINDFALL TO STATE BUDGET,
GOV. BARBOUR WARNS

Gov. Haley Barbour today warned the Joint Legislative Budget Committee against relying on a recent legal settlement with pharmaceutical companies as a windfall for the state budget next year.

In a letter to committee members, Gov. Barbour said the state will only receive a fraction of the settlement funds.

“I am writing to make sure you and others are not misled by this entry to think the State has $20.041 million in additional funds that will be available for appropriation or expenditure either now or in the next fiscal year,” Gov. Barbour wrote. “We do not.”

In fact, Gov. Barbour points out that the State of Mississippi may receive less than $1 million of the settlement proceeds, while Gov. Ronnie Musgrove’s law firm, which represented the state in the lawsuit, has been awarded more than $5 million in fees by Attorney General Jim Hood.

The letter is here and a letter from Division of Medicaid.