“We will go in on Friday. I don’t know if the Governor has made the announcement. Friday at 10 a.m. we will deal with the Public Service Commission,” he says.
This week’s special session ended with bills for most departments passing both chambers, including Medicaid and the Department of Public Safety. But the Public Service Commission and the Public Utilities staff were left out. Negotiators couldn’t agree on 11 new employees for the PSC’s auditing department.
“I’m not for providing any additional employees. We’ve got enough, there’s 73 people there, that particular division, and the public utilities staff, 26-30, they got enough to do their job,” Governor Bryant says.
Central Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday, but we know that all but 12 of the PSC’s employees statewide have had to take a furlough until an agreement is reached. If their budget is passed, the furlough should have minimal effect, if any, on their pay.
On Thursday, when Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced his opinion on how the PSC and Public Utilities should operate without a budget, he gave his opinion on why an agreement wasn’t forged. “They had an agreement, and it’s my understanding Governor Barbour instructed the Lieutenant Governor to pull the plug on it, give them no positions,” he says.