The Clarion-Ledger, 2/18/9

State lawmakers working on budget issues Tuesday heard requests for millions of dollars to keep four school districts from going bankrupt and thousands more to prevent layoffs or pay cuts for prosecutors.

State Superintendent Hank Bounds said $5 million is needed for districts in Indianola, Tate County, Kemper County and Noxubee County to make payroll between now and the end of the current fiscal year. The state would have to take over the districts because they don’t have the authority to raise taxes or borrow funds before the fiscal year ends June 30, Bounds said.

Several district attorneys told the same committee they need more than $700,000 to be able to keep traveling to various counties to prosecute cases, and also to prevent pay cuts, layoffs or furloughs for dozens of assistant DAs and investigators.

“We can’t shut down for a day,” Forrest-Perry County District Attorney Jon Mark Weathers said.