CL – Barbour: ‘Cards on table face up?’

Gov. Haley Barbour was in Iraq last week visiting Mississippi soldiers at war, but this week begins to face a battle of his own at home over the state budget.

Pressed during a teleconference with Mississippi reporters while in Iraq about details of the budget plan he will release tomorrow Barbour deferred – promising to “put my cards on the table face up.”

Barbour will release his Executive Budget Recommendation for Fiscal Year 2011 Monday afternoon. While Barbour has been close to the vest with the budget plan, it is expected to detail budget cuts, possible state agency consolidations, mergers or eliminations that may include the state public education system at all levels.

In normal times, such a gubernatorial plan would be assailed as irresponsible or roundly ignored by the Legislature. Lawmakers historically have ignored executive budgets and wrote their own.

But these are not normal times.