Better Miss. Report blames Barbour’s travel for budget stoppage, but doesn’t get to the real reason

JACKSON (Tuesday, March 22, 2011) – Two key House leaders said today they were making major progress with Senate negotiators in crafting a new state budget – until Gov. Haley Barbour threw a last-minute curve.

State Reps. Johnny Stringer and Cecil Brown said House and Senate negotiators have agreed on about 75 percent to 80 percent of the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

But Barbour – who has been out of state, flying across the country and campaigning for president – effectively stopped negotiations after he voiced opposition to the budget compromise in a letter distributed late Monday.

“We were making such good progress,” said Stringer, who chairs the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee. “We thought we may get out of here (early) and save the taxpayers money. This has halted all negotiations.”

Better Mississippi Report
3/22/11