Clock running down on budget agreement

Legislative leaders have three more days to reach a budget agreement but continue to wrangle over funding for education and mental health while debating how much to stow away for future years.

As the clock runs down, the question looms: Can they get it done by Saturday’s 8 p.m. deadline? Or, is the budget heading the way of legislative redistricting – locked in a partisan stalemate?

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Johnny Stringer, speaking to reporters after a meeting with Gov. Haley Barbour, said Barbour has directed legislators to cut an additional $77 million from their budget proposal, largely from K-12 schools, but also two- and four-year colleges.

Clarion Ledger
3/23/11