The Sun Herald, 2/21/8

Gov. Haley Barbour said he believes the state House, which voted to raise its pay last week, “doesn’t get it.”

In a meeting with the Sun Herald, Barbour said Wednesday the budget has been fat over the last few years, but money is expected to be tight this year as experts project the state’s revenue will slow down. However, he doesn’t believe the Legislature’s spending will be reined in.

Eyeing deficits in Medicaid approaching $90 million, Barbour urged lawmakers to be thrifty in his State of the State address last month.

“The Legislature voted to give themselves a 50 percent pay raise,” Barbour said Wednesday. “Can you imagine anything worse for the government’s image in the voter’s eye? It passed the House 62 to 59 with the support of the leadership, so it isn’t going to become law, but what a statement about ‘we don’t get it.’