CL – Budget: Barbour cuts broad and deep

Gov. Haley Barbour didn’t just present his annual executive budget Monday: He proposed remaking state government with what he termed “very significant, major, dramatic ways to reduce spending.”

What I propose is to change the way we do a lot of things,” he said.

That might be an understatement. His proposals would include:

Merging Mississippi University for Women into Mississippi State University.

Merging Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State University into Jackson State University.

Reducing the number of school districts from 152 to about 100 districts.

Closing mental heath crisis centers and four Department of Mental Health facilities.

Cutting state agencies an average 12 percent.

Changing community college governance.